One of the ways that the police and prosecutors try and prove that a person was driving drunk is by obtaining drivers’ blood alcohol content (BAC) when they are pulled over. Under Massachusetts law, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or greater. If you do, you are per se intoxicated under the law. This means that the state does not have to prove anything other than the fact of your BAC to establish intoxication.
Importantly, you can also be convicted of drunk driving if your BAC is under .08. The law also criminalizes driving while under the influence of alcohol regardless of BAC. So, if an officer believes that you are impaired and is able to obtain evidence of such impairment through field sobriety testing and other methods, you may still be charged and potentially convicted of OUI.
Your BAC at the time of your arrest can have a significant impact on your defense. If your BAC was .08 or higher, the defenses that you could raise would have to do with challenging the accuracy of the testing or attempting to suppress evidence because of procedural police errors. For example, under Massachusetts regulations, the police officer administering the Breath Test must observe you for 15 minutes prior to your first test. On the other hand, if your BAC was under .08, you could agree to admit the Breath Test result at trial in order to successfully challenge that that you were impaired at all.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with an OUI Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, it’s in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as you can. To schedule a free consultation, call McCormack Law today or contact us online.
[RELATED POST]: Should You Fight Your First OUI Charge?
Are there ever defenses to OUI charges?
Yes. There are various defenses that an attorney may be able to raise in OUI cases.
Do I need a lawyer for a first OUI offense?
It is highly advisable to retain an attorney if you have been accused of OUI, even if it is your first offense.
When should I call an attorney after an OUI arrest?
You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after getting arrested for drunk driving.