When an officer stops a person on suspicion of driving under the influence in Massachusetts, and when that person has a child passenger in the vehicle, the state may charge the driver with both an OUI and child endangerment. This is thanks to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which convinced federal lawmakers that driving drunk with a child passenger is a form of child abuse. Today, all but four states have the power to charge a person with a separate offense if that person is guilty of operating a motor vehicle while inebriated and with a child passenger. In all states, including those that do not have additional laws, prosecutors have the right to charge the drunk driver with the additional crime of child endangerment.
When people are convicted for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Massachusetts, they often face a series of consequences depending on the severity of their offense, before they are permitted to regain their driving privileges. Throughout this time, they may be required to pay fines, undergo recovery programs, pay back people who may have been injured by their actions and even serve jail time in some cases.
When people have been drinking in Massachusetts, their split-second decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle can result in a lifetime of perilous consequences. Recognizing the dangers of drinking and driving and implementing measures to prevent that temptation from happening is something that all drivers should be striving to do. However, in situations where a person does make an irrational and careless decision, they may eventually be able to put their mistake behind them with a commitment to never re-offend and active efforts to be better.
If you operate your motor vehicle in any place to which the public has right to access or has access as licensees or invitees, you have technically consented to submit to a breath test or chemical test if an officer requests one of you. This is per Section 24 of the General Laws of The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If you refuse the breath test, the state may impose strict consequences.
Being questioned by a police officer who suspects you may be impaired while driving is no doubt something that would cause a person to be very nervous. Part of the nerves experienced in this situation is due to the fear of what consequences you might be given if you are convicted. Part of the nerves also come from a lack of understanding about the process and the tests used during the arrest.
As you sit and contemplate the consequences a OUI arrest in Natick might bring, one question may creep into your mind: How is that law enforcement officials can determine what the alcohol content of your blood is by measuring your breath? Many have come to us here at the office of David. B Zirlen with the same question. To know the answer, you need to understand how it is that what you put in your mouth as a liquid can end up as escaping as breath.
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.
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.