November 2011 Archives

November 29, 2011

Massachusetts Woman Arrested for Drunk Driving with Child in Car

Hingham Police arrested a Cohasset woman last week on several Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges for allegedly driving while intoxicated and with her 12 year old son in the front seat.

Gay R. Winn, 47, was charged with OUI / DUI, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle; and Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol with a Child Under 14.

According to the Hingham Police Department, officers were called to a report of an SUV driving erratically on Route 228. The anonymous caller reportedly provided the police with the license plate and a description of the vehicle.

Officers who located the SUV allegedly observed it to cross over into oncoming traffic and eventually pulled the car over. When they approached the driver, officers allegedly smelled alcohol coming from the vehicle and her speech to be slurred. Her 12 year old son was also in the vehicle seated in the front seat.

Although Winn exercised her right and refused to submit to any Field Sobriety Tests, Hingham Police arrested her based on her alleged admission that she had been drinking and that they believed she exhibited signs of intoxication, including her allegedly being unsteady on her feet.

Following the Massachusetts Legislature passing "Melanie's Law", it is now a crime to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a child 14 years of age or younger.

The DUI / OUI Crime of Child Endangerment While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol is punishable with a minimum-mandatory jail sentence of not less than 90 days and up to 2.5 years for a first offender, along with a 1 year loss of the person's driver's license. A second offender faces 3-5 years in state prison and a 3 year loss of their driver's license.

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November 25, 2011

East Boston Man Faces 8th Drunk Driving Charge

A man from East Boston was arrested on his 8th Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charge on Thanksgiving.

Albert Diaz, 52, was reportedly arrested in Chelsea for OUI / DUI 8th Subsequent Offense, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, and Unlawful Operation of a Motor Vehicle After Suspension for DUI / OUI.

According to the Massachusetts State Police, Diaz was stopped in Chelsea after he allegedly committed one or more traffic violations. Police allege that he also failed several Field Sobriety Tests.

In many alleged drunk driving cases, the police will almost always cite traffic violations as the basis for conducting a motor vehicle stop and as evidence of impaired operation. Just because there was a traffic violation or two, such as speeding or red light violation for example, does not necessarily mean that you have no defense to DUI charges.

In many cases, the alleged traffic violations can easily be attributable to other factors aside from impaired operation, such as the late hour, fatigue and/or other distractions in the vehicle.

Even where you may have submitted to and alleged failed Field Sobriety Tests, that may not always be fatal to your defenses either. Inherently, Field Sobriety Tests are fallible in many respects, and are almost never administered properly or under the optimum conditions they were designed for.

For those reasons, if you are arrested for a DUI / OUI, it is critical that you Consult with a Massachusetts Drunk Driving Lawyer.

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November 24, 2011

Woburn Man Arrested in Boston on 5th Drunk Driving Charge

A Woburn man with four prior OUI / DUI convictions was arrested in Boston on his 5th Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charge this past week.

Thomas D. McCue, 42, was charged in Boston Municipal Court with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, 5th Subsequent Offense, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, and Operating After Suspension for OUI / DUI.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, McCue was alleged speeding on Storrow Drive in Boston when Massachusetts State Police attempted to pull him over. McCue reportedly pulled over on the Harvard Bridge heading towards Cambridge, but then allegedly sped away and rear-ended a taxi driver.

When the car was finally stopped, the Massachusetts state trooper alleges that McCue refused to roll down his window, at which point the trooper smashed the window with his flashlight where he was immediately arrested.

Following being booked at the Massachusetts State Police barracks in Boston, McCue allegedly admitted to have drunk 3 glasses of wine; allegedly failed 3 Field Sobriety Tests; and also submitted to a Breathalyzer Test, with readings of 0.24%, 0.15% and 0.24%.

At his arraignment in Boston Municipal Court on these OUI / DUI Charges, McCue was held without bail pending a Dangerousness Hearing.

DUI / OUI 5th Subsequent Offense carries significant penalties in Massachusetts, including imprisonment for not less than 2.5 years and up to 5 years; lifetime revocation of your driver's license without the possibility of a hardship license; cancellation of the vehicle's registration and possible forfeiture of the car.

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November 17, 2011

Medfield Teen Charged with DUI Following Crash Into Tree

An 18 year old Medfield teenager has been summonsed to answer on various Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after he allegedly crashed his car into a tree last week.

The teen has been charged with OUI / DUI Liquor, Malicious Destruction of Property and Leaving the Scene of an Accident After Property Damage.

According to Medfield Police, officers responded to a call that a car had crashed into a tree and allegedly discovered the man walking up the street and away from the accident. He was eventually transported to Norwood Hospital to be treated for his injuries.

Officers allege that the charge of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol was based on their observation of the driver at the scene, including the apparent odor of alcohol, "eye condition". It is also alleged that the man submitted to and failed Field Sobriety Tests and allegedly admitted to having consumed alcohol.

Despite all this, the Medfield man may very well have viable defenses to these DUI / OUI charges if his defense is able to pick away at the allegations. For example, challenging the administration and accuracy of the Field Sobriety Tests; seeking to exclude any alleged admissions he may have made; submitting evidence of the road or weather conditions that might have played a factor in the accident.

At the end of the day, every case and all specific allegations should and must be examined with a fine tooth comb. Cases that might appear like slam dunks for the prosecution on their face, sometimes actually turn into great cases for the defense down the road.

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November 13, 2011

Somerville Police Investigate Assault, Arrest man on Drunk Driving Charges

Somerville Police responded to a Dunkin' Donuts in Somerville this past week to investigate an alleged assault and ended up arresting a man on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges.

Nelson Orlando Martinez, 22, was arrested for allegedly Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol.

According to police, when Somerville Police officers arrived at the Dunkin' Donuts, they reportedly spoke to witnesses who were described as two Hispanic men with long hair in ponytails and traveling in a red pickup truck.

Police officers reportedly saw a red pickup truck with two occupants who allegedly matched the description. The men were in the car and stopped at a stop sign when police pulled the car over.

Once having pulled the car over, police allegedly smelled alcohol on the driver and asked him if he had any drinks. He allegedly stated he only had one shot; but later allegedly stated he had two shots. Somerville Police asked Nelson Orlando Martinez to exit the car and alleged that he was unsteady on his feet. He also reportedly failed Field Sobriety Tests.

At this time, he was arrested on Massachusetts OUI / DUI Charges.

The issue that arises in cases such as these is that there are actually a number of things that support the inference that this defendant was not operating under the influence of alcohol. For example, officers were not responding to a report of anyone drunk driving; they did not observe the defendant to have committed any motor vehicle traffic violations; there is no suggestion that Martinez was unable to follow the officers' directions to exit the car; etc. etc.

Even if you were to believe that the defendant allegedly admitted to the police that he had 2 shots and failed Field Sobriety Tests (which everyone is deemed to have failed), these are not necessarily fatal to any defense.

To the average person, the typical DUI / OUI case seems hopeless and many people believe they have no chance of beating their case. In reality, however, a great deal many DUI cases are, in fact, triable, and persons charged with OUI should Consult with a Boston DUI Lawyer who can explain all their rights and any potential defenses.

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November 11, 2011

Taunton Man Arrested for DUI After Warning by Police

A Taunton man who was allegedly warned by police not to drive was then arrested for Massachusetts Drunk Driving Law Violations.

According to the Taunton Police Department, the man was warned early Wednesday morning not to get back into his car or he would be arrested. The officer had initially seen Pacheco standing on the sidewalk and speaking on his cell phone, allegedly swaying side to side and appearing intoxicated.

The Taunton Police Officer allegedly offered the driver a ride to the police station so he could call someone for a ride, but he reportedly opted to get back into his case and drive off.

He was then pulled over and arrested for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, Second Subsequent Offense.

The man also reportedly submitted to and failed a series of Field Sobriety Tests.

He was arraigned in Taunton District Court on OUI / DUI 2nd Offense and release on his own personal recognizance.

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November 10, 2011

Hingham Man Asks for Directions and Gets Arrested for Drunk Driving

A man on his way to his cousin's home in Cohasset got lost, prompting him to ask for directions and leading to his arrest on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Law Violations.

According to the Hingham Police Department, after getting lost, Keith Stanton allegedly stopped at a home in Hingham and allegedly asked the woman for directions. The woman reportedly called police and reported that she observed him to be confused and smelled an odor of alcohol about him.

Hingham Police reportedly located Stanton at a Hingham gas station and allegedly observed him to be unsteady on his feet, with glassy eyes. Police also alleged that there was a half empty bottle of vodka on the front passenger seat.

Stanton also allegedly submitted to a Breath Alcohol Test, which allegedly gave a reading of 0.23%.

He was eventually arrested for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol.

When it comes to submitting to a Breathalyzer Test in Massachusetts, every person has the right to refuse, and that refusal cannot be held against you should you take the case to trial (in other words, evidence of a refusal is inadmissible at trial against you).

However, refusing a breathalyzer test comes with a price. For persons without any prior DUI / OUI offenses, the penalty for refusing a breathalyzer test is a 180 days suspension of your drivers license. For persons who do have a previous OUI conviction, the penalty for refusing a breathalyzer test is even stiffer: 3 year driver's license suspension with 1 prior OUI conviction; 5 years with 2 prior OUI convictions; and for 3 or more OUI convictions, a LIFETIME suspension.

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November 8, 2011

Massachusetts Police Arrest Taunton Man for 7th Drunk Driving Offense

A 50 year old Taunton man was arrested by Massachusetts State Police Officers this past weekend and charged him with his 7th Massachusetts Drunk Driving Law Violation.

Howard Stockbridge was charged with OUI / DUI 5th Subsequent Offense, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol After License Suspended for Previous OUI /DUI.

According to police, state police received calls concerning an accident on 495 in Foxboro. The callers alleged that man driving a truck struck a 2011 Kia Sorrento and then fled on foot through the woods.

Massachusetts State Police who had responded to the scene of the accident in Foxboro ran a check through the Registry of Motor Vehicles and found that the vehicle was registered to Howard Stockbridge. After witnesses reportedly identified his photo from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, he was subsequently located and arrested.

One of the key issues involved in this case is challenging the propriety of the alleged identification of the operator. In cases such as these, where the police conduct a purported identification procedure yet disclose only one photo to the witness for identification, these circumstances certainly raise a question of whether the identification procedure was fairly conducted.

In all Massachusetts criminal cases, identification of the alleged perpetrator is an essential element. The government in every case has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is the individual who committed the alleged crime. Therefore, if an identification procedure is conducted unfairly, or is unduly suggestive in any way, would most likely increase the likelihood of a mistaken identification or conviction.

The issue of a possible mistaken identification is even more pronounced in the case of a DUI / OUI 5th or Subsequent Offense where the minimum-mandatory penalty is imprisonment of not less than 2.5 years and up to 5 years in state prison.

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