OUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury
Boston DUI Serious Injury Lawyer serving Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area including South Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, New Bedford, Taunton, Attleboro, Lowell, Woburn, Medford, Waltham, Wareham, Lynn, Lawrence, Wrentham, Dedham, Salem, Fall River, Brookline, Chelsea, Worcester, Framingham, Everett, Revere, Dorchester and Roxbury and all smaller cities and rural areas in Massachusetts.
In order to conviction someone of Operating Under the Influence Causing Serious Bodily Injury the prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The defendant operated a motor vehicle,
- on a way or in any place to which the public has a right of access,
- with a percentage, by weight, of alcohol in his blood of eight one-hundredths or greater, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances,
- operated the motor vehicle recklessly or negligently so that the lives or safety of the public might be endangered,
- caused serious bodily injury to a victim.
A bodily injury is “serious” if it had any one of the following four characteristics: (1) it created a substantial risk of death; (2) it involved total disability; (3) it involved the loss of any bodily function for a substantial period of time; or (4) it involved substantial impairment of any bodily function for a substantial period of time.
The jury will be instructed that the evidence does not need to show the defendant was drunk or even drove in an unsafe manner in order to be considered under the influence of alcohol or drugs. All the prosecution needs to show is that the defendant simply consumed enough alcohol or drugs to diminish his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. The jury will be instructed that it is not necessary that the evidence show that the defendant was drunk or even drove in an unsafe manner.
The Prosecution will use any of the following to prove the defendant was intoxicated.
1. Odor of Alcohol: Police officers will almost always testify that they observed a strong odor of alcohol on the defendant’s breath after they pulling him over. It is important to understand that it is not illegal to drive a vehicle after having a drink. Your defense attorney show know that pure alcohol is odorless and that it is the additives that are added to alcoholic drinks that create the smell of alcohol. Usually
2. Glassy and Bloodshot Eyes: Police officers will almost always testify that they observed the defendant with glassy and bloodshot eyes. There are several reasons for glassy and bloodshot eyes though: allergies, lack of sleep, prescription eye-wear problems, sitting in front of a computer screen for hours
3. Slurred Speech: Police officers will almost always testify that they observed the defendant speaking with slurred or thick tongued speech. However, a foreign accent, speech impediment could be to blame. The fact that the officer never spoke with the defendant prior to the arrest is also beneficial to the defendant.
4. Field Sobriety Tests: A police officer will usually have the suspect perform three of the following tests. Most officers usually choose the first three:
- nine-step heel-to-toe walk and turn,
- One Leg Stand,
- horizontal gaze nystagmus (eye test),
- reciting the alphabet, or
- touching a finger to the nose.
5. Breathalyzer Test: Click on the link to read more about the breath test
Imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 2½ years nor more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not less than six months nor more than 2½ years and a fine of not more than $5,000. With certain exceptions there is a mandatory minimum sentence of six months’ imprisonment. The defendant’s motor vehicle license is revoked for two years after the date of conviction.