Massachusetts Drunk Driving Attorney
Experienced Defense for Charges of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
If you have been charged with Operating Under the Influence (“OUI”) of Alcohol or Drugs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, contact Riccio Law to speak with an experienced OUI defense attorney. Riccio Law represents individuals throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts charged with OUI-Liquor and OUI-Drugs and has over an 80% acquittal rate at trial.
Why Hire Riccio Law?
A former prosecutor in Bristol County, attorney Anthony Riccio prosecuted hundreds of OUI cases and gained invaluable experience going up against some of the best criminal defense attorneys in the state. As a defense lawyer, Anthony has represented individuals facing charges ranging from OUI-Liquor, 1st Offense to OUI-Drugs, 4th Offense and OUI-Liquor, 4th Offense and has over an 80% acquittal rate at trial. Anthony has obtained Not Guilty verdicts after trial where clients were involved in a car accident, driving erratically, failed the breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, and admitted to drinking.
Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws
Although commonly referred to as “drunk driving,” the Government is not required to prove that an individual charged with OUI-Liquor was “drunk.” To convict a person of OUI, the Government must prove three elements:
- That the person operated a motor vehicle,
- On a public way,
- While under the influence of alcohol (or drugs).
To prove an individual is “under the influence” of alcohol or drugs, the Government needs to demonstrate that one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired. In addition to securing a conviction by establishing a person’s blood alcohol content (“BAC”) was at or above the legal limit of .08%, an individual can also be found guilty of OUI without a breath test or blood sample, if the Government can establish, circumstantially, that their ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired. Several factors can be considered to determine whether one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired, including but not limited to:
- the odor of alcohol,
- bloodshot and glassy eyes,
- slurred speech,
- being unsteady on one’s feet,
- observations of motor vehicle infractions, and
- failed field sobriety tests.
Can You Refuse Sobriety Tests or Breath Alcohol Tests in Massachusetts?
Although the police will not inform an individual that he or she is not required to perform field sobriety tests, you have the right to refuse those tests and that refusal cannot be used as evidence against you during trial. You also have the right to refuse the breath test and no evidence of that refusal may be introduced at trial. However, in Massachusetts, there is an automatic driver’s license suspension for a breath test refusal. If you are 21 years of age or older and charged with OUI for the first time, a breath test refusal results in an automatic license suspension of 180 days. If you do take the breath test and fail, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days.
Should You Take a Plea if Charged with Drunk Driving / OUI?
While it is important to keep your criminal record clean, a trial may not always be the smart choice if you have been charged with OUI. There are options available in Massachusetts, particularly on 1st offense charges, which an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate on your behalf. Generally, a plea deal that allows for an individual to avoid a criminal conviction for OUI will include a 45 to 90 day loss of license and a requirement to complete the 24D Program.
Massachusetts Former Prosecutor Defending Your Legal Rights
Being convicted of OUI can result in serious consequences so it is important to contact an experienced attorney if you have been charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs. Call Riccio Law today at (508) 226-4500 or (857) 526-7091 for a free consultation.