Last Sunday night Marueen Fogwell was arrested in Massachusetts for OUI. A cell phone caller reported that Fogwell was driving erratically on Route 95. She failed some field sobriety tests and blew a .125 on a portable breathalyzer. She later blew a .10 and a .15 on a breathalyzer back at the police station. Pursuant to Massachusetts law Fogwell’s operating privileges were immediately revoked for thirty days.
Fogwell was arraigned early in the week in the Salem District Court. The judge learned that the police forgot to take her license when she was arrested and she was ordered to surrender it in court. She did and was reminded that she could not drive in Massachusetts until the Registry of Motor Vehicles restored her operating privileges. What the judge did not know was that Fogwell drove herself to court that day. However, when she left the courthouse a court officer saw her drive away and called the police. She was arrested, brought back into court and ordered held for sixty days in the house of correction or until her at least until her case is resolved.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 23 makes it a crime for anyone who has a license suspended for OUI to operate a motor vehicle during the period of suspension. The sentence is sixty days in the house of correction if convicted of this crime. It is very difficult to defend someone accused of this crime. You would have to show either that the person was not driving the vehicle or that there was an affirmative defense to this crime such as necessity. Given the facts set out in this article it is unlikely that either of these defenses is available to this defendant.