Drunk Driving?

How does a prosecutor begin to prove that you were driving drunk (i.e. operating a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicating liquor)?

In Massachusetts, the Commonwealth has to prove the following:

  1. That you were operating a motor vehicle and
  2. That you were operating a motor vehicle on a public way and

You were operating with a Blood Alcohol level of .08** or greater

OR

  1. That you were operating a motor vehicle and
  2. That you were operating a motor vehicle on a public way and
  3. You were operating a motor vehicle while while under the influence of alcohol and your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle safely was diminished by the consumption of an intoxicating beverage.

The first two elements are relatively straight forward and necessary to prove someone guilty of drunk driving.  If the Commonwealth doesn’t prove Operation or Operation on a Public Way, you must be found not guilty.  For example, if you are standing beside your car and there are 3 other people also standing there, they have to prove that you were operating the car.  They also have to prove that you were driving in a place that is a public way.  If they cannot prove all three elements you must be found not guilty!

In order to prove that you have a Blood Alcohol of .08 greater, the Commonwealth must introduce proper records and they must introduce them as evidence properly.

The other way, proving that you your operation was impaired takes into consideration field sobriety tests, observations of the arresting officer, observations of your driving, observations at booking, your appearance, your attitude, and pretty much anything else you can think of that might give someone the impression that you are under the influence of alcohol and that your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is impaired.

If you have been charged with OUI, you should consult with an attorney. I am an experienced attorney who knows how to protect your rights.  Call me at 866-981-7888 or email me for a consultation!

** If you are under 21, the Commonwealth only needs to prove that your Blood Alcohol was .02 or higher.

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