Articles Posted in OUI DUI Drugs

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A 47-year-old mother was killed and her daughter and a friend were injured in a serious drunk driving accident in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Patriot Ledger of Quincy reported Sept. 22. Timothy George of Brockton, Massachusetts was allegedly drunk and high on cocaine when he hit a vehicle driven by Elizabeth Oldrid. According to the article, police believe George was driving at 70 mph down Route 14 in Plymouth — where the speed limit is 45 mph — at around 8:30 p.m. Saturday night. He was seen passing other vehicles before swerving into oncoming traffic, where he hit Oldrid’s vehicle, killing her at the scene. Her 17-year-old daughter, Alexandria Oldrid, was treated and released from a hospital. A 15-year-old friend, Savannah Alexander, was hospitalized in fair condition in Boston.

At the scene, officers said George, 32, smelled of alcohol and had glassy eyes and slurred speech. They found cocaine and a device for snorting cocaine in his possession. He was arrested and charged with two counts of negligent homicide by motor vehicle — one for driving drunk and one for operating under the influence of drugs. His other charges include DUI with serious bodily injury; drug possession; speeding; and illegal passing. He was arraigned Sept. 21 and pleaded not guilty, then held on $20,000 bail.

Read article: Judge sets $20,000 bail for Brockton man accused in fatal Pembroke crash

My experience as a Massachusetts DUI defense attorney suggests that at least part of this case will be difficult to defend at trial. If the reports in the article are true, there are witnesses who can testify that George was speeding and passing — and police found the cocaine in his possession. However, the DUI case, be it drugs or alcohol, might be harder to prove. In order to convict a driver of OUI drugs, the prosecution must prove that the driver took drugs, and that those drugs impaired the driver. Impairment is not always easy to prove, especially if the driver was also allegedly drunk, as in this case. Similarly, the prosecution must also prove impairment by alcohol to get a drunk driving conviction — and having had some drinks is not the same as driving while impaired. An experienced Massachusetts drunk driving defense lawyer will argue points like these in defense of his client.

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A Framingham man was charged with OUI-drugs and leaving the scene of an accident early on Sept. 11, MetroWest Daily News reported Sept. 13. Barrett Montgomery, 20, was stopped by an officer as he walked away from his own vehicle. Witnesses told the officer that Montgomery’s car had been driven down the road dragging a part that had partially come off of the frame. The officer’s report said Montgomery got out of the car to look at the damage near High Street and Route 9, then started to walk away. After he was stopped by the officer, Montgomery said he must have hit a guardrail. Observing that Montgomery’s eyes were bloodshot and he was not steady on his feet, the officer investigated and discovered that Montgomery had been drinking and smoking marijuana.

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Cops say Framingham man drove after drinking, smoking pot

In my work as a Massachusetts intoxicated driving defense lawyer, I see far fewer cases of OUI involving drugs than I see of people who drive drunk. A charge of operating under the influence of drugs carries the same penalties as a charge for operating under the influence of alcohol, and the arrest process and some of the defenses are the same. However, a breath test cannot give police enough evidence to prove an OUI for marijuana or another drug; officers must prove to jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was in fact operating under the influence of a particular substance. This is not easy to do in that not all police officers have the requisite expertise to give that testimony in court. An experienced Massachusetts DUI Defense attorney might be able to get a judge to exclude such testimony. This could result in the case getting dismissed.

To get a conviction for operating under the influence of drugs, the prosecution must prove the accused took drugs and that the drugs caused impairment. Even if the defendant took and failed a blood test, these can be difficult to prove. For example, in cases involving marijuana, substances related to the drug remain in the body for up to a month after use, which can trigger a false positive even though the driver is not impaired by the drug. A good Massachusetts OUI defense attorney can raise this and other strong defenses for drivers like Montgomery and help them avoid the sometimes life-altering consequences of a criminal conviction.

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Around three o’clock yesterday afternoon Massachusetts State Police received several calls from drivers stating that a woman was driving erratically and had a child in her car. A state trooper heard the dispatch and observed a vehicle being operated by Cindy Abkarian weaving back and forth between lanes. The car was pulled over and the trooper observed the defendant’s daughter sitting in the passenger seat unbuckled. Abkarian admitted to having used methadone and Klonopin prior to operating her vehicle. Abkarian failed the Field Sobriety Tests and admitted to having a substance abuse problem. She was arrested and charged with OUI Drugs, Possession of Class C, Child Endangerment and related Motor Vehicle Crimes in the Salem District Court.

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Massachusetts Charges Woman WithTaking Pills And Driving With Her Two Year Old Child Unrestrained

My experience tells me that this case is not going to trial. Several factors suggest that the defendant in this case will plead guilty. Independent cell phone callers witnessing Abkarian’s erratic operation, the trooper making a similar observation, her admission to using drugs when driving, the presence of drugs in plain view when she was stopped, the failed field sobriety tests and the unbuckled toddler all suggest that Abkarian should plead guilty. With a good lawyer she will likely get probation and perhaps some enhanced drug abuse treatment.

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Last week Nancy Toledo of Braintree, Massachusetts was stopped for having a defective taillight. Once stopped the police officer observed signs consistent with alcohol and drug use. Toledo was asked to perform some Field Sobriety Tests. According to reports Toledo took the tests and failed. She was transported to the police station where she was given the Breathalyzer Test. She failed this too. She was charged with OUI Drugs and Alcohol. Toledo was also charged with Resisting Arrest. After the defendant’s car was searched more charges were added; Possession of Drugs and Drinking from an Open Container. The case will be prosecuted in the Quincy District Court.

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Massachusetts Woman Fails Breathalyzer Test, Field Sobriety Tests And Gets Charged With DUI Drugs, Alcohol

Assuming the taillight was in fact defective and stop was constitutionally permissible Toledo’s best option might be to admit to sufficient facts and enter the “24D” program. There she will be placed on probation for one year. She will have to enter and complete an alcohol awareness program, pay some fines and lose her license for forty five days. She will be eligible for a hardship license assuming she meets the criteria set out by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. She may also have to undergo some drug counseling if the judge believes she might have a substance abuse problem. Successfully trying this case will be a challenge due to the presence of drugs, the failed field sobriety tests and the failed breathalyzer test.

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Just before 8:00 a.m. last Monday a cell phone caller reported seeing a woman was operating erratically. A Medfield, Massachusetts police officer spotted the car and attempted to pull it over. The officer succeeded in stopping the vehicle. He smelled alcohol on the driver and asked her to perform field sobriety tests. The woman became upset and started yelling and swearing at the officer. An eyewitness saw the officer open the suspect’s car door and attempt to get her out of the car. The woman pushed the officer’s hand away, slammed her car door and sped away quickly. The driver, a fifty one year old Brookline, Massachusetts woman then ran a couple of red lights and weaved in and out of cars before crashing into a utility pole. The driver was airlifted to a Boston hospital. As of the date of this article no charges had been filed against the woman. Possible charges could be failing to stop for a police officer, driving to endanger and DUI.

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No DUI Charges For Massachusetts Woman Who Crashes After High Speed Chase

Whenever someone is taken to the hospital as a result of a motor vehicle accident there stands a good chance the medical personnel will take blood from the patient. A toxicology screen will likely follow and the blood sample will be tested for alcohol. I would guess that the district attorney and police are waiting for these results before finalizing the criminal charges they intend to file against this woman. If the results are negative or substantially below a .08 then no OUI charge will issue. The toxicology screen will also look into the presence of drugs, prescription or otherwise. If the test is positive for certain drugs then charges of OUI drugs might issue. Unlike alcohol however, the presence of drugs in blood samples as not as determinative a factor for establishing impairment. Many drugs remain in the system long after their effects have worn off. When we represent clients for OUI drug cases we usually engage a toxicologist to educate a judge or jury on the effects of the drug, whether it impairs motor vehicle operation and whether or not the effects of the drug might have worn off prior to our client’s operation of the motor vehicle.

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Jose Correia was charged with OUI in the Stoughton District Court after he struck another vehicle and left the scene. He was arrested shortly thereafter and charged with OUI, leaving the scene of an accident, possession of cocaine, driving to endanger and driving without a license. The accident occurred shortly after 7:00 p.m. on Sunday night. Correia is thirty five years old and from Norwood, Massachusetts.

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OUI And Related Motor Vehicle Charges For Norwood Massachusetts Man

The OUI charge, if it is Correia’s first, would not be nearly as serious had he remained at the scene of the accident, made his identity known and waited for the police to arrive. The fact that he fled inflates the gravity of the situation and can in many instances be the catalyst for a higher sentence if Correia is convicted. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24 states that anyone who leaves the scene of an accident shall be punished for not less than two weeks nor more than two years in the house of correction. The minimum sentence is not mandatory however where there are additional charges as in this case such as OUI and drug possession sentences tend to be higher than the typical “24D” program. I would be interested to know how Correia was apprehended, whether or not he took field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer test and who if anyone witnessed Correia driving.

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Jesse Marquardt was competing in a triathlon this past Sunday in Marlborough, Massachusetts. At around 9:00 a.m. during the running leg of the event he was struck by a car driven by Richard Dwyer, a 62 year old Marlborough man. According to witness accounts, Dwyer’s car swerved into Marquardt causing him to flip over the vehicle and hit the pavement. Dwyer continued to drive and was apprehended by police about one mile away. Marquardt was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for sever injuries and ultimately released. Dwyer was charged with OUI drugs, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident and OUI with serious bodily injury. The case is pending in the Marlborough District Court.

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Massachusetts Man Charged With DUI Drugs After Hitting Triathlete

Here is the interesting part of this case. Dwyer has been charged with OUI Drugs even though “the type of drugs is yet to be determined”. What exactly does this mean? If he did not submit to a blood test there is no way to ascertain with any degree of legal certainty that he was under the influence of drugs. Rather it appears that this is pure speculation on the part of law enforcement. If he did submit to a blood test then a toxicology screen will determine if in fact drugs were in his system. This still does not mean that he was under the influence of those substances. In situations like this it is advisable to engage a toxicologist to assist in the preparation of the defense. A good toxicologist will be able to explain to a jury how these substances affect certain individuals and how the symptoms of intoxication manifest themselves. They will also be able to tell a jury how long certain substances remain in the system and whether the substance was causing impairment at the time of operation.

Dwyer’s bigger problem seems to be the crime of leaving the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury in Massachusetts is punishable by a sentence of between six months and two years. These charges are taking quite seriously in Massachusetts. The law requires a driver to stop in situations such as this and a failure to do so will almost always result in a prosecution.

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Joan Clark just got out of jail a few days ago. Then, this past Wednesday she got into a motor vehicle accident. When the police arrived she looked disoriented and had bloodshot eyes. She claimed to have had nothing to drink but was taking three kinds of medications for back pain and for withdrawal. She also had four children between the ages of three and ten in her car. Clark failed field sobriety tests and was charged with DUI, DUI with personal injury and DUI child endangerment. She did take a breathalyzer test and consistent with her representations to the police the machine registered a .00.

Woman Facing Charges Of DUI Drugs, Child Endangerment

This incident occurred in Florida. Massachusetts has similar charges that can be brought against someone who commits these crimes in Massachusetts however. The most serious of these charges in Massachusetts would be the Child Endangerment OUI charge. That crime is codified by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24V which states that anyone convicted of OUI with a child under the age of fourteen in the car shall be sentenced to a minimum ninety days in the house of correction. This crime is a misdemeanor but it is not subject to the “24D” disposition.

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Tyrone Fuller is twenty one years old living in Hayward, California. He is getting arraigned today on charges of murder stemming from a March 21, 2009 crash in which he killed another man. At the time Fuller was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. It was reported that at 6:00 a.m. Fuller drove his sport utility vehicle through a red light striking a car driven by Roger Guess. Fuller left the scene but later filed a false police report claiming that his car had been stolen. The charges are in the Alameda County Superior Court.

DUI Murder Charges Filed Against California Man

In Massachusetts you cannot be charged with murder for a motor vehicle death involving impairment due to either alcohol or drugs. You can however be charged with motor vehicle homicide or manslaughter based on OUI. Motor vehicle homicide charges carry a maximum fifteen years in state prison. The crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. OUI manslaughter in Massachusetts originated with Melanie’s Law. It is a felony charge that carries a minimum mandatory five year state prison sentence and as much as twenty years. There is also a lifetime loss of license associated with this crime.

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Kelly McCarthy of Peabody, Massachusetts was arrested Saturday afternoon and charged with operating under the influence of drugs (OUI). It was reported that a 911 caller called police to report a vehicle being operated on its rims. Officers located the vehicle, driven by McCarthy and followed her for a distance. As police made chase the vehicle failed to stop and eventually crashed into a fire hydrant. McCarthy was charged with DUI drugs, operating recklessly, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to stop for a police officer. She is being arraigned in the Peabody District Court today. The incident occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Peabody Massachusetts Woman Arrested For DUI Drugs

Operating under the influence of drugs is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24. For a first offense conviction the punishment is the same as OUI alcohol. You can be sentenced for up to two and one half years in the house of correction, required to pay court costs and fines and receive probation for a year and a one year loss of license. There is also a “24D” disposition available to first time offenders where you can get probation, a mandatory alcohol education program, a forty five day loss of license, court costs and fees. If McCarthy does not have a criminal record and her conduct is aberrational she just might get the “24D” disposition.

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