The Jacksonville Jaguars draft, Justin Blackmon pled guilty to a drunk driving charge in Oklahoma in a deal to avoid jail time. He was arrested at a traffic stop where his blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit.
His punishment was a $500 dollar fine and a deferred sentence of one year, meaning he will serve no jail time if he fulfills the terms of his sentence. He is also required to complete 50 hours of community service.
A Massachusetts State Police Trooper is accused of DUI after being found passed out inside his car in Connecticut. Officer Sheehan was arrested early Saturday morning. Officers at the scene conducted sobriety tests and concluded that Sheehan shoed signs of impairment. He will be arraigned for Operating Under the Influence and marked lanes violation on July 30th. Full story here.
Field sobriety tests aim to measure a person’s sobriety and dexterity. Without a breathalyzer, a person’s performance of these tests is the primary evidence used against them for a DUI/OUI charge.
The standard field sobriety tests include:
- The horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) which is an involuntary jerking of the eyeball that occurs naturally as the eyes gaze side to side.
- The walk and turn test, which requires the individual to take nine stops, heel to toe along a straight line, turn on one foot and return the same manner in the opposite direction.
- The one leg stand, where for 30 seconds the suspect is timed as he/she stands on one foot, with the other about 6 inches off the ground, and counts by thousands.
Other less standard tests include reciting the alphabet, counting out loud, or finger dexterity tests.
The field sobriety tests are not foolproof, and are very subjective. Some people who are not even under the influence fail them as well. If you have been charged with a DUI/OUI and have failed a sobriety test, contact the attorneys at Brooks & Crowley and explore the legal options available for you.
New York Knicks star, Jason Kidd was arrested for drunk driving after crashing his SUV into a telephone pole in the Hamptons. He was released without bail after being arraigned on a drunk driving misdemeanor charge. See full story here.
In Massachusetts, a first offense for OUI/DUI has a penalty of not more than 2 ½ years in the House of Correction, a fine between $500 and $5000, and a license suspension for one year. The alternative disposition for a first offense DUI is pleading to a continuance without a finding, unsupervised probation for one year, participation in a 16 week alcohol/drug education program paid for by defendant, and a license suspension for 45-90 days, and for 210 days for drivers under the age of 21.
A DUI is a serious offense. If you are facing a DUI or OUI, you need an experienced attorney to help defend your case. Contact the attorneys at Brooks & Crowley to obtain the legal expertise you need.
In a recent case, Kasper v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the RMV properly revoked Kasper’s license after he was stopped for drunk driving back in 2010.
When the incident occurred, Kasper took the breathalyzer test once, registering at .18 percent, which is above the legal BAC of .08 percent. After being given the test five more times, he still had not provided a valid sample, leading to the conclusion that Kasper had refused to provide the second sample, as he could not provide a reason why only the first test is valid.
Massachusetts regulations provide that a driver must produce two adequate breath samples, and a failure to comply will be “noted as a refusal.” 501 Code Mass. Regs. § 2.16. Additionally, the burden rests on the driver to show that he did not refuse to submit to the breathalyzer test. 540 Code Mass. Regs. § 11.02(5)(b) (1996).
The case is notable because the Supreme Judicial Court clarified the avenue of appeal where a driver has allegedly refused a chemical test: following a hearing with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, the driver who does not prevail must file a a petition for certiorari to the Superior Court, not the district court where the DUI case is pending.
If you have had your license revoked based on a breathalyzer refusal, the procedure may have been improper. Contact the attorneys at Brooks & Crowley and we can offer you over 30 years of legal expertise to defend your case.
Nine individuals were arrested at a recent sobriety checkpoint in Norwood, MA. Sobriety checkpoints are places where officials stop every vehicle, or every “x” vehicle on a public road to check and see if the driver is too impaired to drive. In Massachusetts, checkpoints are conducted year round and have been upheld under both the state and federal constitutions.
The purpose of sobriety checkpoints and roadblocks are to deter drunk driving, but studies show that the effectiveness is questionable. If you have been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint for DUI, contact the attorneys at Brooks & Crowley and we can assist you with the complex legal issues, including the constitutionality and the procedure used by officials that surround this type of DUI case.
A Salem woman, determined to find cat food was spotted driving on only three tires and without headlights. The woman had been involved with a hit and run in Beverly, and was arrested and charged with operating under the influence, a second offense. Later that night she was again spotted in the Beverly area, where an officer pulled her over and she was then arrested and charged again with driving under the influence (still a second offense because there has been no conviction from the first arrest). Full story here.
DUI charges are serious. In MA, a second offense penalty results in jail for not less than 60 days and not more than 2 ½ years, a fine between $600 and $10,000 dollars, a license suspension for 2 years, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. The alternative disposition is 2 years probation, a 14 day inpatient alcohol program paid for the defendant, a 2 year license suspension and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
If you are facing DUI charges, contact the law offices of Brooks & Crowley to talk to experienced attorneys that can help defend your case.
Aaron Berry, a 24 year old Detroit Lion cornerback, faces DUI charges after he drove his vehicle into parked cars and attempted to flee. He was arrested close to the scene. Full story here.
If convicted, the penalties for a first offense DUI are not more than 2 ½ years imprisonment in a house of correction, a license suspension of one year, and a $500-$5000 dollar fine. An alternative disposition is one year of probation, mandatory participation in a 16 week alcohol-drug education program that is paid for by the defendant, and suspension of license for 45-90 days (210 days for drivers under 21), with eligibility for a hardship license right away.
If you are facing DUI charges, contact the law offices of Brooks & Crowley and our experienced attorneys can help you explore your legal options.
A Westfield man was acquitted of manslaughter after being accused of drinking beer prior to running over a boy in a kayak with his speedboat of 2010. A jury trial in Hampshire Superior Court also acquitted him of the charges of homicide while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, operating a vessel while under the influence causing serious injury and three counts of child endangerment while operating under the influence.
If you have been charged with operating under the influence, contact the attorneys at Brooks & Crowley and we can provide you with over 30 years of legal expertise to defend your case.
A Sudbury Town Committee Member will be arraigned on a third OUI charge from May 9th, when she drove her vehicle over an island and struck signs and collided with a granite post. She left a local restaurant, which was serving alcohol past the time allowed by the license. See article here.
A third drunk driving offense has harsh penalties. There is no alternative dispute resolution available, and there is a fine in place between $1,000.00 and $15,000.00. In addition to a suspended license for 8 years and a state seizure and sale of the vehicle, there is jail time of not less than 180 days (150 days mandatory), and no more than 5 years in State Prison.
If you are facing an OUI/DUI charge, your reputation and savings are on the line. Contact us at Brooks & Crowley and see what we can do to offer you legal assistance.
An Uxbridge woman was charged with a fourth drunk driving offense after driving her car into a sand trap on a golf course. The woman, who was driving with a suspended license, claimed her GPS sent her the wrong way. However, police allege she was drunk. Police report a cup filled with alcohol in the car. The woman is being held on a $10,000.00 bail after pleading not guilty to charges of driving with a suspended license and drunk driving. See full article.
If convicted on the drunk driving charge, the woman faces penalties of not less than 2 years in jail with a one year mandatory minimum sentence, not more than 5 years in state prison, a fine between $1500.00 and $25,000.00, a license suspension for ten years, and loss of vehicle to the Commonwealth.