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Massachusetts Driving Instructor On Trial For OUI

Now here is a really interesting case that just started in the Newburyport District Court. The defendant is a driver’s education teacher. His name is Daniel Winsky. He is fifty three years old and lives in Salem, Massachusetts. The district attorney’s office has charged him with OUI stemming from an incident on December 26, 2007. According to reports, Winsky was giving a driving lesson to a couple of teenagers in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Winsky was in the passenger seat. He had a set of controls but the vehicle was, according to the defense being operated by the student. Winsky also stands firm that he was not drunk. Interestingly enough, Winsky was not arrested until two months after the incident.

The trial started yesterday. Four civilian witnesses testified, two on the issue of operation and all four on the issue of impairment. As to both issues, the testimony is in great conflict.

Massachusetts Driver’s Education Teacher On Trial For DUI
First Of Its Kind Drunk Driving Trial Starts In Newburyport

In Massachusetts the element of “operation”, like all other elements in an OUI case must be proved by the prosecutor beyond a reasonable doubt. An old Supreme Judicial Court case, Commonwealth v. Uski, 263 Mass. 22 (1928) held that operation consists of any act that relates to the electrical or mechanical functioning of the vehicle that alone or in connection with other acts will put a vehicle into motion. Having keys in the ignition satisfies this element in Massachusetts. Never however has a court or jury held a passenger responsible for OUI. This case presents an interesting question of fact for the jury. Did Winsky do an act that put the driver’s education car in motion, while he was under the influence of alcohol.


Attorney Stephen Neyman has been defending people accused of drunk driving in Massachusetts for over twenty years. He has tried these cases throughout the state to judges and juries. If you have been charged with OUI in Massachusetts call our office now to discuss your case. Our telephone number is 617-263-6800. You can also contact us online.

Si usted habla español contacta a nuestro asistente de abogado Maria Rivera en 617-877-6270.