At least six more OUI arrests in Massachusetts have occurred along Route 24 since authorities announced increased enforcement in the wake of a string of serious and fatal traffic accidents. Motorists can expect DUI roadblocks and other drunk driving enforcement measures through the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
The Boston Herald reported the arrests over the weekend raise to 33 the number of drunk driving arrests in Southern Massachusetts since the increased enforcement began a month ago.
As we reported recently on our Massachusetts DUI Attorney Blog, authorities increased enforcement after more than 630 crashes claimed 11 lives and injured countless others last year. That averages out to more than two crashes a day.
The Express-Times reports rising gas prices are not expected to impact Labor Day travel. AAA reports prices are up about 40 cents since July 1, though that’s still 22 cents a gallon lower than the peak price in April. Gas is expected to average $3.75 a gallon nationwide and more than 85 percent of travelers are expected to drive to their destination. The Boston Globe reports some 33 million travelers will hit the nation’s roads.
Labor Day is the last of the trio of summer holidays (Memorial Day and Fourth of July), that see the most travel, the most arrests for drunk driving, and the highest number of serious and fatal traffic accidents.
When law enforcement targets an area for drunk driving enforcement, or conducts increased enforcement periods around travel holidays, a number of consequences may result.
-Officers on the lookout for drunk drivers, typically find them. No surprise there. But the predisposition to making a stop or initiating a DUI arrest may give rise to an arrest even though the evidence would be insufficient to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt if brought to trial. Increased enforcement means that police officer may arrest individuals who drank responsibly but simply could not perform balance and coordination test requested by the officer.
-Authorities may not conduct sobriety checkpoints or law enforcement roadblocks in accordance with the law. In fact, arrests in the wake of such stops typically provide more avenues of challenge for an experienced Brockton OUI attorney.
-Auxiliary, volunteer or part-time personnel may be put on active road duty. These officers may lack proper training and recency of experience, which can give rise to a host of legal challenges.
-Motorists may be unfairly targeted leaving concerts, venues or events.
Most motorists understand drunk driving is no longer a minor offense. However, those charged are also likely to have little experience with the criminal justice system. As such, they may fail to understand the seriousness of their situation. Job loss, jail time and lengthy driver’s license suspensions are all common results of a drunk driving conviction. And, financially, the cost of a drunk driving conviction nationwide can approach $20,000, counting skyrocketing insurance premiums, court costs, fines, supervision fees and other expenditures.
For repeat offenders, or for those involved in an accident, the consequences can be even more serious.
-OUI Serious Bodily Injury is punishable by up to 2.5 years behind bars and a mandatory two-year suspension of your driving rights.
-OUI Motor Vehicle Homicide is punishable by up to 15 years behind bars and a 15-year loss of your driver’s license.
Of course, your best option is to designate a driver, take public transportation, or find a sober ride home this weekend. But if you do end up under arrest, exercise your right to remain silent and contact an experienced defense lawyer in Massachusetts as soon as possible.