Analysis of a Massachusetts OUI Case

Many Massachusetts OUI cases can be successfully defended. The first step in the analysis is looking at the reason for the stop: did the officer observe a civil infraction? If not, the stop itself may be illegal, and the accused may be able to force the case to be dismissed as a result.

If the stop was legal, the next step in the analysis is whether there was a breathalyzer. If there was, what was the score. There is no per se legal limit in Massachusetts presently. If the score is below, at, or even slightly above .08%, the level at which a jury can presume impairment, the case will be a good candidate for trial.

In many cases that go to trial, there is no breathalyzer result. In such a case, all of the facts are important. For example:

  •     What was the reason for the stop? Was it a minor civil infraction, or something more serious?
  •     How did the driver react to the officer’s stopping instruction? Did he pull over promptly, or try to flee?
  •     What were the responses to the officer’s questions in the car? Were they responsive (consistent with sobriety), or not?
  •     Did the driver successfully give both license and registration to the officer when requested? Officers are taught that this is the first field sobriety test they give, unbeknownst to the driver.
  •     What were the results to the field sobriety tests outside the car?  What were conditions like?  Did the officer give the tests correctly?
  •     What was the drivers demeanor?  Was he or she polite or abusive?

Whether or not any particular Massachusetts OUI case should be taken to trial should be the subject of discussions at length between client and lawyer.


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