When people are accused of OUI, they are often also accused of other, less serious offenses. After all, the police need legal justification to pull someone over in the first place, so there is usually some underlying traffic offense that initiated the encounter that resulted in the OUI charge. Three offenses that commonly accompany OUI charges include:
Reckless or Negligent Driving
Many OUI cases involve a charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle or reckless operation of a motor vehicle. These are separate criminal offenses, with additional criminal penalties and associated license losses. This may happen if a driver is too impaired to drive, that he or she is driving in the opposite lane of travel. However, there are other reasons as to why someone may be operating negligently that are not related to alcohol impairment, such as a medical emergency, texting and driving, or to avoid striking an animal.
Leaving the Scene of Property Damage
Leaving the scene of a car accident is a separate criminal offense that often leads to an OUI investigation. This is because the alleged victim of the “Hit and Run” often calls 9-1-1, and police can locate the alleged perpetrator close to the scene. This offense also carries additional criminal penalties and associated license losses.
Speeding and Marked Lanes Violations
Speeding and marked lanes violations are civil motor vehicle infractions that police officers and state troopers often use as a legal justification for the stop of a vehicle on a public roadway or state highway. When the officer approaches the driver’s window to request the driver’s license and registration, the officer is then in a position to observe possible signs of intoxication, like bloodshot eyes or an open container of alcohol.
In some cases, an OUI investigation can result from a police officer on stationary patrol on the highway or in a parking lot running the various license plates of passing vehicles. The officer can check to see if the vehicle inspection sticker is expired, or if the registered owner of the vehicle has a suspended license. And like the other enumerated offenses, when the officer approaches the driver’s window to investigate and/or cite the infraction, the officer is then in a position to observe possible signs of intoxication.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If you have been arrested for drunk driving and accused of additional offenses, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel immediately. At McCormack Law, we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and work tirelessly to obtain the best possible outcome in every case we take. To schedule your free case evaluation, call our office today or contact us online.
How serious is an OUI?
OUI is a crime, and even a first offense can result in serious consequences, including fines and jail time.
Do I need a lawyer to represent me for an OUI charge?
It is highly advisable for anyone accused of drunk driving to retain an attorney as soon as possible. In most cases, the involvement of an attorney will result in a much better outcome than you would be able to obtain on your own.
Will I definitely be convicted if I blew?
No. There are often defenses available even if you agreed to perform a breathalyzer test.