Sixty year old Chamroeun Theam of Lowell Massachusetts has been charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol for a second time, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, operating to endanger, having defective equipment and failing to submit his motor vehicle for inspection. According to The Lowell Sun, the charges stem from an incident when a twenty-five year old mother attempted to cross Flethcer Street with her two and four year old children. Apparently not realizing that there were pedestrians in the cross walk, Theam failed to yield and struck the stroller. The accident was witnessed by a number of bystanders including Lowell police officers. The police and emergency personnel responded to the scene. Following a number of field sobriety tests Theam was arrested and charged with the above offenses.
The most serious of the offenses that Theam faces is driving while under the influence of alcohol, commonly referred to as “drunk driving.” Since this it Theam’s second offense, if he is found guilty he faces a mandatory minimum sentence. M.G.L.A. 90 § 24 provides that for a conviction of a second offense the defendant shall be punished by a fine of not less than six hundred nor more than ten thousand dollars and by imprisonment for not less than sixty days nor more than two and one-half years. Any sentence imposed shall not be reduced to less than thirty days, nor suspended, nor shall any such person be eligible for probation, parole, or furlough or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until such person has served thirty days of such sentence. The Courts routinely allow a defendant to enter and complete a two week inpatient alcohol program in lieu of serving the thirty days in the house of correction.
In Massachusetts, the consequences for a conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol are significant. If you have been charged with drunk driving it is important that you have an experienced criminal lawyer on your side to ensure that all of your rights are protected. Areas of the case that must be examined are often whether the individual was “driving” in the legal sense; whether any operation took place on a “public way”‘ and whether the defendant was legally under the influence of alcohol. Understanding the law and the facts are critical to mounting a successful defense.