A Holbrook man was arrested last weekend on his second charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. Shortly after midnight on Aug. 29, another driver called the police in Braintree, Massachusetts to report that a Pontiac Grand Am was driving erratically. A police officer responded and pulled over a 25-year-old Holbook man after watching him drive. According to a police spokesman, the man showed signs of intoxication after he was stopped, and did poorly on sobriety tests at the scene. He was arrested for operating under the influence of liquor as well as unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, because his license was valid only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Man charged with drunk driving in Braintree
Even if the article had not said this was the defendant’s second OUI charge, my experience as a Massachusetts drunk driving defense lawyer would have made me suspect it. The man’s license restricted his driving privileges to just 12 hours a day, suggesting that he was driving with a “hardship license.” The RMV grants these licenses to people who have had their drivers’ licenses suspended because of an OUI. Unfortunately for this defendant, if he is found (or pleads) guilty of intoxicated driving in this new case, obtaining a new hardship license will not be easy. On a second offense, the RMV will not consider a granting hardship license until the license has been suspended for an entire year. When it does consider the driver’s case, the agency requires a $700 fee just for the hearing, along with proof that the driver has complied with the OUI penalties.
Depending on the circumstances, this man may be able to mount a strong defense to this new OUI charge. As a Boston OUI defense attorney, I know how important that is. A second drunk driving charge is still a misdemeanor in Massachusetts, but the penalties go up dramatically from a first offense. The law calls for at least thirty days and up to 2 1/2 years in jail for a second offense, plus fines of up to $10,000. Alternatively, second offenders may be given two years of probation and two weeks in an inpatient alcohol treatment program at their own expense. These are in addition to a two-year license suspension, steep court fees, an ignition interlock device and skyrocketing auto insurance rates. These penalties are so severe that if you face them, it’s always worth talking to a Boston DUI defense attorney about mounting a strong defense.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman defends OUI cases in the greater Boston area regularly. If you have been charged with any intoxicated driving crime, I can help. For an initial consultation, you can reach my office anytime through my Web site or at (617) 263-6800.