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Massachusetts DUI Frequently Asked Questions
What is a DUI or Drunk Driving?
DUI is shorthand for Driving Under the Influence. A person is guilty of DUI if he drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and is under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any chemical or controlled substance to the extent that his or her mental faculties are impaired or when his or her blood alcohol level (BAC) is above the Massachusetts legal limit of 0.08%.
Is there anyway to avoid a DUI or Drunk Driving?
It sounds simple, but don`t drink and drive. Take a taxi, designate a driver, walk, call a friend, but no matter what, do not drink and drive.
Can I still be in trouble for driving, even if I register below the legal limit of 0.08%?
Yes. It is also unlawful to drive with your normal faculties impaired. Normal faculties are those faculties of a person, such as the ability to walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies, etc.
Does the car have to be moving for me to be guilty of DUI or Drunk Driving?
No. You can be arrested for DUI by driving while over the legal limit in Massachusetts or while impaired. But, you need not actually operate the car in order to be arrested. You can still be found guilty if you had the capability and power to dominate, direct, or regulate the vehicle, regardless of whether you were exercising that capability or power at the time of the arrest. In other words, simply sitting behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition can lead to your arrest for DUI by being in actual physical control of the car.
Do I have to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test?
No. However, the laws of Massachusetts DUI permit the motor vehicle department to suspend your privilege to drive for failing to submit to certain tests.
Can I fight my DUI or Drunk Driving arrest?
Yes. You may request a review of the driver`s license suspension by the department of motor vehicles within a specified number of days following your arrest. At a formal review, the hearing officer is authorized to administer oaths, examine witnesses and take testimony. If you request an informal review hearing, it shall consist solely of an examination by the department of the written materials submitted by the arresting officer, as well as anything you wish to submit. You generally cannot attend an informal hearing.
If I am arrested for a DUI or Drunk Driving will I lose my license?
It is possible that law enforcement or the Courts will seize your license if you are arrested for DUI with an unlawful BAC or after you refused to submit to a chemical or physical test. Your license may be seized, and the officer will issue you a traffic ticket.
How long will I lose my license?
This will vary. However, if you have refused to submit to a chemical or physical test, your license will likely be suspended for a period of at least 180 days for a first refusal, or for a longer period if you have previously refused to submit to such a test. If you have an unlawful BAC, your driving privilege will likely be suspended for between 45 and 90 days for a first offense, and one year or more for a second or subsequent offense.
What else will happen to me?
A sentence may range from Probation, along with rehabilitative programs all the way to a jail term. In addition to this, a loss of license is often associated with a conviction for DUI or Drunk Driving.
Call an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer today at 617-875-4552