Operating Under the Influence
If you have been charged with Operating under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (“OUI”/“DUI”/“DWI”), contact The Law Offices of Anthony R. Riccio today. As a prosecutor in Bristol County, a majority of the trials Attorney Riccio handled involved OUI charges. During his time at the District Attorney’s Office, Attorney Riccio, a Quincy OUI lawyer, gained invaluable experience and developed an understanding of OUI laws which has allowed him to successfully defend those who have been charged with drunk driving in Quincy and all throughout Massachusetts.
While often referred to as “drunk driving,” the Government is not required to prove that an individual charged with OUI/DUI was “drunk.” To convict a person of OUI/DUI, the Government must prove three elements:
- That the Defendant 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. The Government does not have to prove that the operator of the vehicle was drunk. 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.
Although the police will not inform an individual that he/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. 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. Just like refusing to perform the field sobriety tests, refusal of the breath test cannot be used as evidence against you at trial.
While it is important to keep your criminal record clean, a trial may not always be the smart choice. There are options available, 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 – 90 day loss of license and a requirement to complete the 24D Program.
Attorney Riccio has significant experience handling cases involving charges of OUI/DUI and will aggressively defend those who have been charged with Operating under the Influence. With his knowledge and experience, Attorney Riccio is an excellent Massachusetts OUI defense lawyer and has obtained Not Guilty verdicts on charges ranging from OUI-Liquor, 1st Offense to OUI-Drugs (marijuana), 4th Offense.
If you have been arrested for or charged with OUI/DUI in Quincy, Norfolk County or anywhere in the state of Massachusetts, contact The Law Offices of Anthony R. Riccio immediately for a free consultation.