Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

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Unexpected Consequence of Operating Under the Influence

Red and blue flashing lights are seen in your review mirror. You put your blinker on and pull to the right side of the road, park your car, and wait for the officer to approach your window.In your mind, you play back how many drinks you had that night and whether the officer will notice the smell of alcohol on your breath. You roll down your window, the officer notes your red glassy eyes and an odor of alcohol emanating from your person as he always does in these kinds of cases, and he asks you how much you have had to drink. At this point, your fate has been sealed and you will be charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol but it does not mean you will be convicted. Follow our advice to give yourself the best chance of a not guilty at trial! Unfortunately, once you are charged with an OUI, it will set into motion additional consequences that you will face even if you are found not guilty at trial.

Once the officer suspects you have been drinking, he will ask how much you have had to drink.Never tell him how many drinks you have had! Whether you answer one drink or ten drinks, the officer will arrest you for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol.

The officer will next ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. You have the right to say no! Just because the officer asks you to perform field sobriety tests, does not mean you have to.Whether you pass or fail the tests, and the officer will always find a reason for why you failed because the tests are very subjective, you will be arrested if he smelled alcohol on your breath!

Once the officer has made the decision to arrest you, and transports you back to the booking station, he will offer you a breathalyzer test. You have the right to refuse the breathalyzer and we always recommend you say no! It is important to remember though that your driver’s license will be suspended by the RMV if you refuse.

The length of your suspension depends on whether this is a first, second, third, fourth or fifth offense as outlined below:

· First Offender Over 21 180 days

· Second Offender or Under 21 3 yrs + 180 days (waived if in 24P program)

· Third Offender 5 years

· Fourth Offender 10 Years

· Fifth Offender Life

Often times people think losing their driver’s license will be the worst consequence they face as they await trial but if you are found not guilty at trial, we will file a motion requesting the judge return your driver’s license and if the motion is allowed, and it usually is, we can represent you at the RMV to request your license be reinstated even though it was suspended because of the breath test refusal.

You can also face consequences if you have a Commercial Driver’s License or CDL. You will also have your CDL suspended for at least 1 year for your first offense OUI and for life for a 2nd offense OUI if:

  • You were driving any kind of vehicle including your own personal motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • You were driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04% or more
  • If you refused to take the breathalyzer test as required by law while driving any motor vehicle including your personal vehicle

Even worse, if any of the above infractions occurred while you were operating a CMV that is placarded for hazardous materials, you will lose your CDL for at least 3 years.

The other unintended consequence of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is that you could lose your License to Carry or LTC. The Chief of Police can revoke your license to carry at any time if in his discretion you are not suitable to carry a firearm. If you are carrying a firearm at the time you are arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol, it is a near certainty your LTC will be revoked. Even if you are not carrying a firearm, your license could still be revoked. This happens in almost all cases at the time of your arrest and especially if you are unruly, disrespectful or make threats while in police custody. We can file a motion requesting the court reinstate your LTC pending the disposition of your case, but the outcome of this motion will depend greatly on the facts of your case. If you are convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol, your license will be revoked by law. Any person convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol is prohibited from having an LTC.

We can help you navigate all the unintended consequences you may suffer as a result of being charged with Operating Under the Influence. Contact us today.

Contact Us

At Sweeney & Associates, we routinely handle Operating Under the Influence cases. If you find yourself in an incriminating situation or think you may face criminal charges, contact us for a free consultation at (617) 328-6900 or mail@rsweeneylaw.com.

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