One of the most important parts of the recent court decision deals with the new instructions the court will need to give a jury on an OUI Marijuana case. The court must instruct jurors that field sobriety tests are not scientific evidence for determining marijuana intoxication/impairment and that any person could have difficulty performing these tests even if they are not under the influence of marijuana.
Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (OUI Drugs) is a serious criminal offense in Massachusetts that can result in jail time, fines, loss of your drivers license, and a criminal record. An OUI Drugs is very similar to a drunk driving or OUI alcohol case and we approach both cases essentially the same way.
Second-time OUI offenders that are allowed a hardship license must install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. They are not allowed to operate any vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device. You will also need to adhere to additional requirements for using an ignition interlock device and a failure to do may result in violations that carry severe penalties.
If you were arrested for an Operating Under the Influence/Driving Under the Influence (OUI/DUI) offense, you are facing two different cases against you. The first is a case that involves the status of your drivers license in Massachusetts and the other involves the criminal case and criminal penalties if found guilty.
DCF will often get involved in situations where children were passengers in a motor vehicle that was pulled over for OUI. The courts will notify DCF that a child was in the vehicle and they will likely undertake an investigation to determine what is in the best interest of the child. DCF could take temporary custody of the child and any other children living in the defendant’s home. DCF would then create a care plan that would put in place alcohol treatment and supervised parental visits. In extreme cases DCF can take permanent custody and place the children in foster care.
The major difference between misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide and felony motor vehicle homicide is that in felony motor vehicle homicide the Commonwealth has to prove that the defendant both operated under the influence and operated negligently or recklessly as opposed to misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide where it is enough show that the defendant was either under the influence or operated negligently or recklessly.