January 2011 Archives

January 28, 2011

Chelsea Man Arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving Hit & Run Death of Revere Man


Luis Gabriel Escalante, 22, was arraigned yesterday morning in the Chelsea Division of the Boston Municipal Court on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges.

Escalante was formally arraigned with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Death, and Motor Vehicle Homicide.

According to the Chelsea Police Department, Escalante allegedly struck and killed Julio Vaquerano this past December after driving while intoxicated with alcohol. Vaquerano was found suffering from major injuries in the area of Blossom and Maple Streets in Chelsea, and was pronounced at Massachusetts General Hospital. His injuries were reportedly consistent with being hit by a car.

Escalante was not arrested in connection with this incident until this past Wednesday after an 'ongoing investigation' involving the Chelsea Police Depatment and Massachusetts State Police.

It is unclear why, but it has been reported that, at his arraignment, Escalante allegedly made statements that he had been driving his gray in the area of Blossom and Maple Street and that he had allegedly consumed alcohol prior.

Not only because it is not clear what information led police to arrest and charge Escalante in this matter, but in all criminal cases and investigations, the persons charged would be well-advised to exercise his Constitutional rights and refrain from making any statements that could be used against him...particularly making statements in court.

In way too many cases that I have been involved with, often the most damaging evidence against my client has come from the defendant himself, whether from agreeing to be interviewed by the police, or from making a statement to a witness about his case. These statements, ones that implicate a person's guilty, or what are referred to as Statements Against Penal Interest, are admissible in court.

In Escalante's case, for example, if the police had questionable evidence tying him or or even his car to the scene of the crime, his statements or admissions in court most very likely took away that avenue of his defense...

For that reason, one should never agree to be interviewed by the police or otherwise make any statements to any person concerning his/her criminal case without first Consulting with a Boston Criminal Lawyer and/or without that lawyer present.

Continue reading "Chelsea Man Arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving Hit & Run Death of Revere Man" »

January 27, 2011

Somerville Taxi Driver Charged with DUI / Drunk Driving in Boston


Tyler A. Bryan, of Somerville, was arrested this morning on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after he allegedly ran his taxi into a snowbank in the Brighton section of Boston.

Bryan was charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Negligent Operating of a Motor Vehicle.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, Bryan allegedly drove his car into a snowbank on Soldiers Field Road. Police found him behind the wheel of the Somerville Green Taxi Cab with his head allegedly bobbing up and down and his eyes drooping shut.

He was also allegedly observed to have glassy and bloodshot eyes and slurred speech (as everyone does when they're stopped by the police for suspected drunk driving)...

Massachusetts State Police officers further alleged that Bryan failed to identify himself and that Boston comedians Lenny Clark and Denis Leary were going to come to his aid. He was eventually pulled from the vehicle by the police...

For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know that, in Massachusetts, you can be charged with Drunk Driving / DUI even if the police never observed you actually operating the vehicle.

In these types of cases, there are many factors that would allow DUI Charges being brought forward, such as evidence of an accident; indicia of intoxication or being impaired; whether the Field Sobriety Tests were performed; or whether a Breathalyzer Test was submitted to.

Because the consequences of being charged and convicted with Drunk Driving in Massachusetts can be severe, including resulting in jail time and severe probation and monetary penalties, you should immediately Consult a Boston Drunk Driving Lawyer.

Continue reading "Somerville Taxi Driver Charged with DUI / Drunk Driving in Boston" »

January 26, 2011

Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules Simply Putting Key In Ignition Enough for DUI / Drunk Driving


In the recent case of Commonwealth v. Robert McGillivary, the Massachusetts Supreme Court addressed the legal issue as to whether an intoxicated driver, who only puts the key in the vehicle's ignition without turning the car on, can be found guilty of Drunk Driving in Massachusetts.

By way of background, Robert McGillivary was convicted after trial of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol. At trial, the evidence presented by the prosecutor was simply that he was found in the passenger's seat of the car and had turned the ignition key once to activate the car's power - but not further to turn the car on. At some point, the defendant testified that he had moved from the passenger seat to the driver's seat, but did not recall ever putting the keys in the ignition. He ultimately found by the police slumped over the steering wheel. At his trial, there was absolutely no evidence that he actually drove the car at all.

McGillivary was convicted after trial and he appealed his conviction arguing that simply turning the car's power on was not "operation" for purposes of the crime of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court, however, said that it was...

In reaching its decision, the court relied on previous Massachusetts caselaw that defined "operation" as anytime a person intentionally does an act or makes use of any mechanical or electrical agency which alone or in sequence sets in motion the motive power of that vehicle.

In following that definition, the court explained that turning the key in the ignition to the "on" position could therefore constitute a part of a sequence that would set the vehicle's engine in motion, thereby constituting "operation."

In my reading of this opinion, there is still an argument to be made that simply putting the keys in the ignition, without turning or activating the electrical power, does not constitute "operation" for purposes of Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws.

The lesson learned here then, ladies and gentlemen, is that if you are in any way intoxicated and pass out in the car, make sure the keys are not in the ignition...

Continue reading "Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules Simply Putting Key In Ignition Enough for DUI / Drunk Driving" »

January 24, 2011

Holbrook Man Charged With DUI in Dorchester Crash


Patrick Fay.jpgPatrick Fay, 24, of Holbrook, was arrested and faces Massachusetts DUI / Drunk Driving Charges after he allegedly left the scene of an I-93 rollover in Dorchester that left his girlfriend in critical condition on Sunday night.

Fay was arraigned this morning in the Dorchester Division of the Boston Municipal Court and charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Personal Injury.

According to Massachusetts State Police and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Patrick Fay was allegedly driving on I-93 in Dorchester when he hit a snow bank around 1:00 a.m.. The car flipped over, and Fay's girlfriend, Alyssa Connolly, was reportedly not wearing her seatbelt and was ejected from the car.

When Massachusetts State Police Officers responded to the area, Fay allegedly began to run but was chased down and arrested.

Although prosecutors allege that Fay "showed signs of intoxication," there is no indication whether he was asked to perform any Field Sobriety Tests or was asked to submit to a Breathalyzer Test.

Continue reading "Holbrook Man Charged With DUI in Dorchester Crash" »

January 23, 2011

Massachusetts Bus Driver Charged With DUI in Somerville


John McCarthy, 61, of Somerville, Massachusetts, was charged with Drunk Driving / DUI after he allegedly drove the MBTA bus he was operating into a car stopped at a red light in Somerville.

McCarthy was arrested this past Friday by Somerville Police and is expected to be arraigned on charges of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol tomorrow.

According to the MBTA and Somerville Police, McCarthy was allegedly found in the driver's seat of the bus, slouched over the steering wheel with his foot on the brake. An MBTA Police Officer who responded to the accident allegedly observed the bus to be still in drive. An open bottle of vodka was allegedly found in McCarthy's possession.

Aside from hitting a car that was stopped at a traffic light, McCarthy also allegedly hit several parked cars along the way. No injuries of any persons or passengers have been reported.

According to police, McCarthy was asked to perform and allegedly failed several Field Sobriety Tests. The MBTA Police who responded to the scene reported that McCarthy was unsteady on his feet; had trouble standing without assistance; and wreaked of alcohol. It is unclear whether he was also asked to submit to a Breathalyzer Test.

Continue reading "Massachusetts Bus Driver Charged With DUI in Somerville" »

January 22, 2011

Two Men Charged with DUI and Motor Vehicle Homicide for Killing Framingham Construction Worker


Jeremy Garnder, 29, was arraigned on Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Homicide Charges and Walter Smith was charged with DUI / Drunk Driving Charges in the car crash that killed Gregory Vilidnitsky, 57, in Framingham last September.

Both men were arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court this past week. Gardner was charged with Motor Vehicle Homicide, Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Causing Death, Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Property Damage, and Operating Under the Influence, Second Offense.

Smith was also arraigned on the Drunk Driving Charge of Operating Under the Influence, Fourth Offense.

According to the Framingham Police Department and the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office, Jeremy Gardner was allegedly driving the truck when it struck and killed Vilidnitksy, who was working on a construction site on the highway that day. Gardner then allegedly got out of the car and began to leave the area.

Meanwhile, Smith, who was initially a passenger in the car, then allegedly got into the driver's seat and also allegedly tried to leave the area. He was reportedly arrested at the scene of the accident.

Following their arraignment, Smith remained in custody on $10,000 cash bail; and Gardner was also held on $100,000 cash bail and ordered to be placed on house arrest with an electronic monitoring device and sobrietor should he post bail.

Continue reading "Two Men Charged with DUI and Motor Vehicle Homicide for Killing Framingham Construction Worker" »

January 20, 2011

Revere Man Arrested with Drugs & Alcohol in Car, Charged with 4 DUI


Richard P. Speropoulos, 64, of Revere, Massachusetts, was arrested last week on DUI / Drunk Driving Charges in Lynn when he was allegedly found sitting in his car with a bottle of vodka and a bag of marijuana.

According to the Lynn Police Department, officers purportedly received a 'tip' about an impaired driver on Boston Street. When officers responded to the area, they allegedly found Speropoulos sitting in his car with the engine running. Lynn Police Officers allege that Speropoulos smelled of alcohol and spoke with slurred speech.

Although Field Sobriety Tests were not performed due to ice on the ground, Lynn Police reported that a bottle of vodka, along with 23 grams of marijuana was seized from Speropoulos' vehicle. At booking, he allegedly blew a 0.23 on the Breathalyzer Test.

Can You Be Charged With DUI / Drunk Driving If the Vehicle Is Parked?

Simply put, YES!

Under Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws, a person is considered to "operate" a motor vehicle if he intentionally does any act or makes use of any mechanical or electrical agency of the car which, alone or in sequence, will set in motion the power of the vehicle.

In other words, "operation" or what is considered 'driving' under Massachusetts DUI Laws is not limited to literally driving the vehicle or even setting it in motion. Rather, the law encompasses even the intentional act of starting the vehicle's engine!

Continue reading "Revere Man Arrested with Drugs & Alcohol in Car, Charged with 4 DUI" »

January 17, 2011

Norwell Mom Arrested for Driving Drunk with Baby in Car...and Naked!


Gayle Drummond, 37 of Norwell, was arrested this past Saturday night and charged with violating Massachusetts Drunk Driving / DUI Laws for driving without her pants and with her 4 month old baby in the car.

According to the Norwell Police Department, officers received reports of a drunk driver who allegedly hit a snow bank, removed her pants and then continued driving. The person who reported the incident also observed an infant in the backseat.

A short while later, Drummond was stopped by Norwell Police, who allege that she had an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on her feet. The officers did confirm that there was a 4 month old child in the backseat, and that Drummond was not wearing her pants.

An inventory search of the car, according to the police, revealed a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee cup containing alcohol, as well as an open box of beer on the passenger floor. Elsewhere in the car officers also recovered additional beer and hard alcohol.

Drummond was arrested on scene and charged with DUI / Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, 3rd Subsequent Offense; Possession of Open Container of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle; and Reckless Endangerment of a Child.

Although the child reportedly was alright, it was taken to South Shore Hospital for evaluation and then taken into custody by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

As with every Drunk Driving related criminal charge, if you are stopped by the police for suspected DUI / OUI, you should be aware of your legal rights, including whether you elect to perform any Field Sobriety Tests or submit to a Blood Alcohol / Breathalyzer Test. Although there may be consequences, such as a loss of your driver's license for refusal of a Breathalyzer Test, you should weigh the consequences carefully relative to possibly having a great opportunity at beating your case.

Continue reading "Norwell Mom Arrested for Driving Drunk with Baby in Car...and Naked!" »

January 10, 2011

Methuen Man Arrested for 14th DUI / Drunk Driving Offense in Lawrence


Albert Lanzo, Jr., 50, of Methuen, was arrested for his 14th Massachusetts DUI Offense in Lawrence this past weekend. Lanzo was specifically arraigned on Drunk Driving Charges including Operating Under the Inlfuence of Alcohol, 5th or Subsequent Offense; Driving with a Suspended License; and Leaving the Scene of Property Damage.

According to the Lawrence Police Department, Lanzo allegedly drove over a mailbox and left the scene. After police responded to investigate, Lanzo's truck was located less than a mile away, with Lanzo slumped over the steering wheel.

Although Lawrence Police "detected a strong odor of alcohol", it is unclear whether Lanzo was asked to perform any Field Sobriety Tests and/or to submit to a Breathalyzer Test.

Following his arraignment, Lanzo remained held without bail pending an upcoming Dangerousness Hearing to determine if bail will be imposed, or if he will continue to be held without bail and deemed too dangerous to be released back into the community.

OUI / DUI / Drunk Driving Charges: Massachusetts Drunk Driving Crimes are prosecuted vigorously by all District Attorney's Offices and the consequences one may face for a DUI/OUI conviction can be severe, particularly if it is a subsequent offense.

Even if one can avoid jail time after being convicted with a DUI/OUI, the financial and other penalties involved in a drunk driving conviction can be severe. Total statutorily imposed fines/fees can reach into thousands of dollars; and the person can be placed on probation and ordered to undergo counseling; drug/alcohol treatment; community service; as well as face a suspension of his driver's license.

Continue reading "Methuen Man Arrested for 14th DUI / Drunk Driving Offense in Lawrence" »