In Massachusetts, operating under the influence (OUI), carries some very severe penalties, which could include license suspensions, steep fines, and the possibility of spending time in jail. If you have been arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence, there are several steps you can take to safeguard your best interests and fight to protect your legal rights.
Understanding the Basics of OUI Law
Every citizen of our state must consent to a blood or breath test, to determine their blood-alcohol content. This is called the "implied consent" law. An officer can only request someone to take this test if there is probable cause that driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs. If he or she surpasses the legal alcohol limit of 0.08% or above (0.02% or above for anyone under the age of 21), then the officer may have grounds to arrest the driver.
A driver can be penalized for refusing the test. Their license will be suspended anywhere between 180 days to 3 years, depending on the number of offenses on record. It does not matter whether the OUI was due to impairment by alcohol or drugs, prescription or otherwise. The penalties may include fines that cost between $500 and up to $5, 000 and up to two and a half years in prison. The driver could also be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on their vehicle.
The Trial Process
Are you wondering about how trials proceed in an OUI case? Here is a basic outline below:
- Arraignment and bail.
- Pre-trial conference.
- Motion hearings.
- OUI trial.
This scenario would apply for those who failed the blood or breath test. The process is somewhat different if the driver had refused to take the test. In that case, he or she will need to apply for a hardship or license reinstatement with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles within 15 days. The fee to reinstate the license can cost anywhere between $100 and up to $1, 200.
Facing an OUI Charge? Contact the Firm!
While being arrested and charged with OUI may be daunting can seem like an uphill climb, know that all hope is not lost. At Flanagan & Associates, our Quincy DUI attorneys serve individuals throughout the Eastern Massachusetts area, by fighting their charges and working to resolve their cases to their satisfaction. We investigate cases thoroughly to determine weaknesses in the evidence and obtain an outcome that works in our clients' favor. We have a former private investigator on our team and we possess a Superb Rating on Avvo in Criminal Defense and DUI.
Contact Flanagan & Associates to help fight your DUI charges.