In a Massachusetts OUI drugs case, the Commonwealth needs to prove the concentration of drugs in your system to be able to prove you were under the influence of a drug like marijuana, heroin or a prescription drug. The Commonwealth can attempt to show you were impaired based on observations, but typically that evidence will not be sufficient to support a conviction.
Often, the Commonwealth will attempt to use medical evidence to prove an OUI drugs charge. However, a Massachusetts OUI Lawyer should object to this evidence. There is a leading case called Commonwealth v. Shellenberger, 64 Mass. App. 70 (2005) that deal with the issue of when a notation of drug use in medical records can come into evidence. In the Shellenberger case, the defendant was charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation. The defendant’s medical records contained a reference to amphetamine in her system. The Massachusetts Appeals Court found that the reference to the amphetamine in her system was an error of law. The Appeals Court held that to be properly admitted into evidence there would have to be:
- reliable evidence as to the amount or concentration of the drug in the defendant’s system; and