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Natick Drunk Driving Law Blog

What if my license is suspended for a DUI in another state?

While you were out of state visiting a friend, you were pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence. Your Massachusetts driver's license was suspended in that state. Can you still drive in Massachusetts?

According to Mass.gov, the National Driver Register is a database that includes information about revoked or suspended driver's licenses everywhere in the United States. Because every state is required to contribute to this database, it will not slip the notice of Massachusetts authorities that you have lost your right to drive, even though it happened somewhere else.

Looking for a job after an OUI in Massachusetts

When you were pulled over by Massachusetts law enforcement, your primary thoughts may have been the immediate results of a drunk driving conviction. Going to jail, paying fines and having an ignition interlock system installed in your car can be inconvenient at best. Since then, you have moved past all that and stayed out of trouble. However, now that you are looking for a job, things are different.

A criminal record can be a serious liability as you hunt for a new job. Fortunately, you may now qualify to have your OUI conviction expunged, Mass.gov explains. If it was a felony conviction, you must wait seven years before you can file a petition to have the record destroyed. A misdemeanor takes only three years. What are the benefits of expungement in your job search?

Do you have a DUI defense strategy?

After a few drinks, you got in your car, only to be pulled over by Massachusetts law enforcement on your way home. The breath or blood test indicates that your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. It seems like an open-and-shut case. 

According to FindLaw, you may still have defense options that result in lesser charges, or even dismissal of your charges. 

A Cinderella license may help you keep your job

After your arrest for drunk driving, you naturally worry that the Massachusetts penalties for this offense will destroy your life as you know it. Losing your driver's license will make it impossible for you to retain your employment, as you have no other means to get to and from work. We at the law office of David B. Zirlen often assist people with a DUI arrest to regain their driving privileges.

Because legislators understand that people need to be able to work, they created loopholes in the Massachusetts driver's suspension laws through the Cinderella license. This hardship license allows eligible drivers to be on the road for 12 hours during the day. 

Sealing or expunging criminal records in Massachusetts

There are many outcomes of an OUI in Massachusetts, one of which is a mark on a person's criminal record. A criminal record is typically public and can be accessed by a landlord, an employer or a university when someone has filled out an application that requires a background check. This may not seem fair. After all, once someone pays the fines and other penalties, why should the consequences continue?

According to Mass.gov, a person may be able to seal his or her criminal record so that the public can't see it. Not only that, it becomes legal to claim that he or she does not have a criminal record on certain types of applications, such as for employment. 

What are the standardized field sobriety tests?

Trained law enforcement officers use standardized field sobriety tests during traffic stops in Massachusetts if they suspect you are impaired. Although drunk driving laws and their repercussions vary by state, officers use these three tests throughout the country to estimate an individual’s blood alcohol content. According to AAA, the goal is to establish probable cause for arrest in drunk driving cases.

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test – Officers use a moving object and observe your eyes for indications of impairment. If the eyes cannot follow the object or if they jerk during the test, it is considered likely that you are impaired.
  • One-leg stand - Directions instruct you to stand on one foot, with the other held approximately six inches off the ground, and count beginning with one-one thousand. There are four cues an officer looks for during this test, including swaying, using arms and dropping the raised foot to the ground.
  • Walk and turn test - Officers instruct you to take nine heel-to-toe steps along a straight line. There are eight impairment indicators examiners look for, including the inability to maintain balance during the directions.

Many factors may prevent you from completing these standardized tests successfully, from age and eye conditions to disease and injuries. These tests are optional and can be highly subjective. The officer likely already suspects that you are under the influence and as a result, he or she may look for indicators that confirm this perspective.

Challenging license suspensions for chemical test refusal

Driving plays a major role in most people’s lives here in Massachusetts. So, a license suspension can have far-reaching impacts for a person. There are many things that can lead to a Massachusetts driver facing such a suspension. One is being accused of having refused a chemical test, such as a breath test, in connection to an OUI arrest.

Here in Massachusetts, when drivers are arrested for drunk driving, they are required to submit to chemical tests requested by law enforcement. This is due to the state’s implied consent laws. While refusing such a test does not carry criminal penalties, it does trigger the administrative penalty of a license suspension.