According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1.5 million people are arrested on impaired driving charges every year in the United States. The circumstances that lead to the charges vary, but it's not uncommon for drivers to find themselves facing this serious offense. A DUI can scary and life altering. Often times a DUI-OUI is an individuals first run-in with the criminal justice system.
It is natural to be worried and full of questions.
“Will I be able to drive again?”
“How long is my license suspended?”
“How can I provide for my family if I cannot get to work”?
“How much is this going to cost me?”
During this stressful time, an experienced law firm can help answer these questions. It is our job at Gilman Law, P.C., to protect you and provide answers to all of your questions.
At Gilman Law, P.C., our team represents those who have been charged with OUI or DUI throughout Massachusetts. We will help you understand the process, explore all of your legal options, and guide you on the best path to meeting your goals. We do everything to fight for your rights.
The moment you see those flashing lights in your rearview mirror can change your whole life. Don't take longer than that to take the first step to protect yourself and your future. Contact us today for a free consultation. Consultations can take place at either of our offices—or even in your home—to learn more about who we are, what we do, and how we can help you successfully address a Massachusetts OUI charge and get back on the road.
Understanding Massachusetts Operating Under the Influence Laws
While alcohol and drugs can affect people differently based on many factors including gender, weight, and rate of ingestion, every state in the U.S. has laws that set limits and address those who operate a vehicle while impaired.
In Massachusetts, impaired driving laws fall under two categories:
- OUI Liquor. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State law sets the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) at .08 percent. If a person is arrested and submit to a chemical breath test they will be charged with OUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is found to be .06% or higher. With a BAC of .6% or higher, a person will be arrested for OUI under a “per se” violation. The person does not need to be intoxicated to be arrested and charged with OUI – a BAC over the legal limit is enough. If a person is arrested and refuses to submit to a breathalyzer can still be charged under the Massachusetts impairment theory.
OUI Drugs. There are no set guidelines for determining drug impairment, but chemical and observational tests are used to determine the type and amount of drugs in a driver's system, as well as the level of impairment. A drug-related OUI charge can stem from illegal drug use or abuse of legal prescriptions.
Whether this is your first offense or six offense there are two options. Fight the case or resolve the case. The outcome and the risks associated with each options depends in part on how many prior OUI convictions a person has.
- FIRST OFFENSE OUI
- SECOND OFFENSE OUI
- THIRD OFFENSE OUI
- FOURTH OFFENSE OUI & BEYOND
- OUT OF STATE OUI/DUI OFFENSES
- OUI CHECKPOINTS AND OUI ARRESTS
Common Penalties for OUI Convictions in Massachusetts
The consequences of an OUI conviction can be far-reaching for both you and your family. One mistake or misunderstanding has the power to change your whole life and force you to deal with serious repercussions. While an experienced attorney can help minimize these effects, it's important to take action to protect your rights as soon as possible.
Although penalties are based on the unique circumstances of each case, some common punishments include:
- License suspension.
- Driver alcohol education class.
- Ignition interlock installation.
- Jail time.
In addition to legal complications, many drivers experience significant stress in their personal and professional lives, as well. An OUI conviction can be embarrassing, and even more seriously, can lead to:
- Loss of employment.
- Loss of professional licensure.
- Increased insurance premiums.
- Immigration issues.
- Strained family relationships.
Every operator of a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by simply operating a vehicle has already consented to provide a breath sample or a blood sample at the hospital. However every driver has the right to refuse a chemical test, but refusal will result in an immediate suspension of your driver's license. The license suspension for any refusal will be suspended for at least six months and up to a lifetime suspension.
A suspension for refusing the breath test or blood test can be appealed through the Registry of Motor Vehicles within 15 days of the arrest. It is important to note that even if your OUI charges are dismissed or you are found not guilty, it is still necessary to immediately file a motion with the court to have your driving privileges reinstated. Regardless of the outcome, it can be possible to retain some driving rights.
An Experienced OUI-DUI Attorney Can Help Protect Your Rights and Your Future
With so much at stake, it's critical to have an experienced lawyer and team fighting for you. Attorneys Matthew Gilman and Julie Gaudreau work tirelessly to help our clients minimize the negative consequences of an OUI. We understand how to win in court but we also know the ins and outs of the Registry of Motor Vehicles to anticipate what may come and prepare a complete, compelling case. Attorney Gilman has been on both sides of impaired driving laws—both as an RMV hearings officer and a defense attorney for clients just like you. We know what it takes to be successful, and can provide the guidance and knowledge you need now.