A Salem, Massachusetts man was driving the wrong way down a one way street. That in and of itself should be enough to get anyone’s attention. However, the defendant, Natalio Rodrigues drew a little more attention to himself by honking his horn at a car coming right at him. Unfortunately for Rodrigues, the car he was beeping at was occupied by two Salem police officers. Reports indicate that Rodrigues drove directly at the officers without endeavoring to stop or pull over. The officers eventually were able to stop the suspect. Upon doing so they smelled alcohol. Rodrigues failed the field sobriety tests and refused to take a breathalyzer test. He stands charged with fourth offense OUI, driving negligently to endanger and driving down a one-way posted street.
Rodrigues is in trouble. Fourth offense OUI convictions in Massachusetts carry a minimum mandatory one year house of correction sentence. There is also a ten year loss of license. There is also a maximum five year state prison sentence that can be imposed meaning that this is a felony. Many district attorneys in Massachusetts indict fourth offense DUI cases particularly where the facts are disconcerting. I would not be surprised to see Rodrigues case get indicted and prosecuted in the Essex County Superior Court.
From the outside looking in this case looks difficult to defend. The events took place at 12:30 a.m. Driving the wrong way down a one way street with police officers as eyewitnesses suggests a problem from the outset. Failed field sobriety tests and the odor of alcohol complicate matters more. There is typically little sympathy felt by judges when sentencing fourth time offenders, particularly in circumstances such as these. Unless he goes to trial and wins, Rodrigues will be serving some jail time.
If you have been arrested or charged with OUI in Massachusetts we encourage you to contact our office by calling us at 617-263-6800 or online. We are a well known Massachusetts Criminal Defense Law Firm with over twenty years experience defending Drunk Driving Cases. We are prepared to defend you aggressively right now.