By Massachusetts OUI Defense Attorney Damian Riddle
There are a few simple things you should keep in mind if you have been pulled over in MA for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. It is easy to get arrested for this offense. All the police need to establish is probable cause.
Operation of your motor vehicle
As soon as you see the blue lights go on or some other indication by the police that they want you to pull over, you should do so as quickly and safely as possible. You want to avoid an allegation by the police that you failed to stop for them or tried to out run them, and you also want to avoid an allegation that you pulled over to quickly by slamming on your brakes or that you pulled up on to a curb or didn’t pull over far enough so that your vehicle is still hanging out in the lane of travel. When you pull over always put your car in park.
Initial interaction with police
You should have your license and registration ready to hand to the police officer when they come to your window. If you believe that you are under the influence of alcohol you should avoid making any statements about what, when, where or how much alcohol you have consumed. You can simply say “I do not want to answer any questions officer”. You have the right not to answer any questions and the fact that you refuse to answer any questions cannot be used against you, it cannot be mentioned to a jury during your trial.
Field sobriety tests
If the police ask you to perform any so called “field sobriety tests” you should refuse to perform any such tests. In my opinion these tests are designed for failure and do not measure whether a person is under the influence or not. Anything you do wrong on these tests either because you are nervous or have some physical disability or simply do not follow the instructions properly will be exaggerated and highlighted by the police officer and you will only provide the police with further ammunition to build their case. You are better off refusing these tests. You have the right to refuse these tests and the fact that you refuse them cannot be used against you, it cannot be mentioned to a jury during your trial.
This last step is complicated. You should consult a lawyer about the specifics of your case. I generally advise most, but not all, of my client’s to refuse the breath test. You have the right to refuse these tests and the fact that you refuse them cannot be used against you, it cannot be mentioned to a jury during your trial. You should know that in MA refusal of a breath test on a first offense carries a license loss of 180 days and even longer on subsequent offenses. However, generally that license loss is far better then having that damaging evidence offered against you at trial of a failed breath test.
Riddle & Associates’ dui dwi oui lawyers serve Worcester County including the areas of Lunenburg, Leominster, Fitchburg, Worcester, Gardner, Clinton, Bolton, Lancaster, Berlin, Acton, Concord, Greenfield, West Boylston, Marlborough, Northborough, Westborough, Groton, Shirley, Pepperell, Townsend, Ashby, Winchendon, Ashburnham, Templeton, Princeton, Ayer, Harvard, Massachusetts.
RIDDLE & ASSOCIATES, ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Worcester County OUI DUI DWI Defense Lawyers
603 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 2