A Newton-Wellesley Hospital emergency room doctor was arrested earlier this month on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges after she allegedly crash into traffic in State Street in Wellesley.
Dr. Kristin Howard, 56, was charged with Operating Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Leaving the Scene of Property Damage and Unlawful Possession of Class C and E Substances.
According to police, the doctor allegedly drove through the Wellesley whole foods parking lot, through grass and bushes, and into the street, striking another car and pushing it into a car on the other side of the street.
OUI / DUI in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment for up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections, along with a loss of license for 1 year. Massachusetts drunk driving laws also provide for an 'alternative disposition' for first-time DUI / OUI offenders if the defendant elects to change his/her plea to a Continuance Without a Finding and be subject to probation and regular reporting; ordered to enter and complete a drug alcohol education program; fines/fees in the area of $1,000 or more; and loss of a driver's license for a period between 45 and 90 days.
With most OUI / DUI cases, the immediate charges and allegations may appear very overwhelming and almost insurmountable. In reality, however, a great many drunk driving cases have very legitimate and strong defenses, so even first-time offenders should strongly consider consulting with an attorney who can evaluate each aspect of his/her case and make an informed decision whether to enter into a change of plea or proceed to trial.