Massachusetts OUI Attorney Discusses A Drunk Driving Case

There are recent reports that Dina Lohan, mother of the infamous Lindsay Lohan, was recently arrested and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol. In Massachusetts the offense of OUI or DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) is a misdemeanor but depending on the circumstances there can be a myriad of dispositions. If you have been charged with operating under the influence of alcohol in Massachusetts the first thing to do is to hire a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney.

In Dina Lohan’s case it was reported that she was traveling over the speed limit which led to the police pulling over the car. Apparently the actress appeared intoxicated and blew a breathalyzer reading of twice the legal limit. Unfortunately, it appears that Dina is following in the footsteps of her daughter and ex-husband by facing these charges in criminal court. Dina’s ex reportedly stated that he hopes that this incident could be a catalyst for her to seek help.

In these types of cases, an experience defense attorney will examine all of the circumstances surrounding the stop and exit order from the car. In Massachusetts citizens have a constitutional right to a reasonable expectation of privacy and the police cannot pull a car over for no apparent reason. Although speeding, or any civil motor vehicle infraction, can justify a stop–it is important to ensure that the stop was legitimate. For example, in Massachusetts, just because an individual is lost does not provide justification for pulling the car over. In the event that a motion to suppress the stop and evidence [i.e., sobriety test, breathalyzer etc.] is allowed the case is usually dismissed as there is no evidence left to prosecute.

Furthermore, in the event that there was a breathalyzer, all of the circumstances surrounding the taking of the breath sample must be carefully examined. For example, the breathalyzer operator and the machine itself must be certified to ensure that proper procedures were implemented. Again, if proper procedure was not followed a motion to suppress should be filed. However, if it is allowed it does not necessarily mean that the Commonwealth will dismiss the case–the breathalyzer results will be suppressed but the criminal case will probably proceed without it.

In the event the case proceeds to trial the Commonwealth has the burden of proving that the defendant was driving a “motor vehicle”, on a public way while “under the influence of alcohol.’ Most litigation surrounds the element of “under the influence of alcohol.” An experienced attorney will cross examine the arresting police officer and highlight the conduct that the defendant engaged in that supports that he or she was NOT under the influence of alcohol.