A young woman is charged with DUI in a crash that police say froze the car’s speedometer at 85 mph, in a 30-mph zone. According to an Oct. 21 article in the Winchester Star, police say 18-year-old Diamond Mason and her passenger, an unnamed 22-year-old woman, are lucky to be alive after they crashed into a stone wall and a tree. The police report said Mason and her passenger were returning from a party at around 12:22 a.m., traveling at very high speeds, when Mason failed to make a turn on Winchester’s Main Street. Instead, her car jumped the curb, crossed the sidewalk and hit a stone-capped cement wall in the front yard of a private home. The crash didn’t stop the car, but sent it 18 feet into another section of wall, knocking the wall out of the ground. The car then hit a tree before coming to a stop.
In addition to the damage to the wall and the lawn, the crash caused severe damage to the car, littering the yard with car parts and contents and splitting the front end in half. The crash also knocked out the engine block and transmission, which were on fire when police arrived. The airbags in the car had deployed and were splattered with blood. Both occupants were knocked out of the vehicle. The 22-year-old passenger appeared to have a broken or dislocated leg; Mason said later that she had a possibly broken ankle, a cut to her head and a knee injury. The passenger said she had been drinking at the party and had passed out in the car, but Mason denied having had more than a sip of alcohol. Nonetheless, she was charged with OUI causing serious bodily injury; driving to endanger; failing to stay within her lane and speeding.
Read article: Speedometer freezes at 85 mph after Winchester OUI crash
I am glad to read that both of these young women seem to be all right after this serious accident. It’s not clear from the article what evidence the police might have for the OUI charge against Mason. If there is no breath or blood test or other reliable evidence, a Massachusetts drunk driving defense attorney may be able to successfully defend the charge. But even if that’s not possible, I suspect, given Mason’s age and probable lack of prior offenses, that she would be a strong candidate for the alternative disposition/24D program for first-time DUI defendants. Instead of possible jail time and thousands in fines, participants are sentenced to a mandatory alcohol education program that they must pay for; up to two years of probation; $600-plus in fines and fees; and a license suspension of 210 days (45 to 90 days for drivers over 21). Defendants who get their cases continued without a finding will not have a criminal record but they will still have a court record showing that they “got a break” earlier in life. However, with help from a Massachusetts DUI defense attorney, they can avoid some of the inappropriately harsh consequences of conventional conviction.
If you’re facing a charge of operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Massachusetts, the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman can help. You can reach our downtown Boston office anytime at (617) 263-6800 or contact us through the Internet.