A Sutton, Massachusetts woman was arraigned in Worcester County District Court Dec. 2 for multiple charges related to operating under the influence. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported Dec. 3 that Lisa Delorto, 43, was charged with OUI-drugs, negligent driving, leaving a marked lane and possession of two drugs without a prescription. The RMV also revoked her driver’s license that day.
The charges stem from a traffic stop Tuesday morning made while Delorto was working as a school bus driver, although there were no students on the bus. Witnesses said the bus was “all over the road” and crossed the center line several times. When law enforcement pulled Delorto over, officers said she was unsteady on her feet and failed field sobriety tests. Officers also found the prescription drugs hydromorphine (an opiate painkiller) and lorazepam (an anti-anxiety drug and sedative), for which Delorto did not have a prescription. At the arraignment, Delorto’s Massachusetts OUI defense attorney said she may have been very tired because she cares for a 22-year-old daughter who is frequently up all night with a chronic blood disorder called spherocytosis.
Read article: Bus driver loses license; faces drug, traffic charge
I am glad Delorto has legal representation, because I believe a good Massachusetts drunk driving criminal defense lawyer could mount a strong defense in this case. The article does not mention that Delorto took a blood test showing that she was taking the drugs; it says only that these drugs were on her person. Possessing prescription drugs without a valid prescription (or another reason to carry them, such as bringing prescriptions to her daughter) is certainly illegal, but it does not make a person guilty of operating under the influence of drugs. Nor do field sobriety tests, which are notoriously unreliable because they are frequently difficult even for people who are stone-cold sober.
However, driving while tired is unfortunately very common, especially among people who work odd or long hours. According to the federal Department of Transportation, drowsy driving causes 100,000 crashes and 1,550 fatalities every year. This could easily be the real reason for Deloro’s swerving — and if it is, a good Massachusetts OUI defense attorney should be able to prove that she is not guilty of intoxicated driving.
If you’re facing drunk or drugged driving charges in eastern Massachusetts, the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman can help. Based in Boston, attorney Neyman defends people in greater Boston and throughout eastern Massachusetts who from charges of OUI and related crimes, as well as RMV license suspensions. To learn more, you can contact our office online for a consultation or call (617) 263-6800.