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.
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.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman represents people in greater Boston and other parts of Massachusetts who are charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have been charged with a DUI/OUI crime and you would like to learn more about your options for fighting it, we can help. To set up a consultation, please contact us online or call (617) 263-6800.