Operating Under the Influence (OUI), commonly known as Driving Under the Influence (DUI), is a serious offense in Massachusetts. The use of drugs or alcohol while driving can lead to accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. If you are charged with an OUI in Massachusetts, it is important to understand your legal rights and the possible defenses available to you.
Here are some common defenses to an OUI in Massachusetts:
1. Lack of Probable Cause
For a police officer to pull you over, they must have probable cause to suspect that you are driving under the influence. This means that the officer must have observed something that leads them to believe you are impaired, such as swerving or driving erratically. If the officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over, any evidence obtained during the traffic stop may be inadmissible in court.
2. Faulty Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are commonly used to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk and turn, and one-leg stand tests. However, these tests are not always accurate, and they can be affected by factors such as weather conditions, uneven surfaces, and medical conditions. If the tests were not administered correctly or the results were unreliable, this may be used as a defense.
3. Inaccurate Breath Test Results
Breath tests are used to measure a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) level. However, these tests can be inaccurate due to various factors, such as calibration errors, improper administration, or medical conditions. If the breath test results were inaccurate or unreliable, this may be used as a defense.
4. Inadequate Miranda Warnings
Before questioning a suspect, police officers are required to provide them with Miranda warnings, which inform the suspect of their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney. If the officer did not provide these warnings or provided them inadequately, any statements made by the suspect may be inadmissible in court.
5. Medical Conditions or Prescription Medications
Certain medical conditions or prescription medications can affect a driver's ability to operate a vehicle, even if they have not consumed alcohol or illegal drugs. If you have a medical condition or are taking prescription medication, this may be used as a defense to an OUI charge.
If you are facing an OUI charge in Massachusetts, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can review the details of your case and determine the best defense strategy for your situation. With the right legal representation, you may be able to reduce or dismiss the charges against you. Our attorneys have vast experience analyzing and defending those charged with OUI-alcohol and OUI-drugs within the Commonwealth. Call us today 508-943-7800