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OUI Arrest in Martha’s Vineyard

Edgartown District Court
The Edgartown District Court is in the downtown section of Edgartown on Main Street. There are many hotels in the area if you are from out-of-state.

What happens if you are on vacation and are arrested for OUI on Martha’s Vineyard. You should consider fighting the case for a few reasons:

  • Your Home State may have harsh OUI penalties;
  • Claims of erratic driving often can be explained by the narrow roads throughout Martha’s Vineyard
  • There are many defenses to an OUI arrest that make it worth you learning about the law and how it applies to your case before rushing into a decision.

Since many who arrested have out-of-state licenses, let me explain the process for an out-of-state individual.

If you have an out-of-state license, Massachusetts does not have the authority to suspend your license in your home State. Massachusetts will suspend your privilege to drive in Massachusetts. If you refused a breath test, you are suspended for six months for a first offense and if you took a breath test and blew over .08 the suspension is 30 days.

Will you get suspended in your Home State on these administrative suspensions:

You could get a suspension if your home state finds out. On the 30 day breath test failure suspension, your home state is unlikely to find out quick enough to issue a suspension. After 30 days, you should come back to Massachusetts to reinstate your privilege to drive in Massachusetts.

On the six month refusal suspension, many States will not receive notification of this suspension and some do not impose suspensions on the breath test refusal.

What happens if you are convicted of the OUI Offense?

While many States will not suspend on the initial administrative suspension, if you are convicted of OUI or accept a CWOF, known as a Continuance without a Finding, you are likely to face a suspension in your home State. Your home State could have more stringent drunk driving penalties, meaning that you could face a longer license loss than in Massachusetts and may also have to install the ignition interlock device as many States require the ignition interlock for anyone with even a first offense OUI conviction.

What Court will Hear your Case?

Drunk Driving arrests on Martha’s Vineyard are heard in the Edgartown District Court located at 81 Main Street, Edgartown. Court is not held daily but on Monday, Thursday and Friday. The main session Court room is upstairs, immediately when you walk into the Court.

Here are a few reasons why you should hire a lawyer and consider contesting an OUI charge.

  1. You may have some strong defenses to your case; often a breath test can be excluded from evidence and an experienced lawyer can discredit the officer’s testimony that you allegedly “failed Field sobriety tests.
  2. In Massachusetts, the Commonwealth cannot enter into evidence any refusal to submit to a breath test, meaning that the jury cannot draw an negative inference from your decision to refuse a breath test. In many States, prosecutors are permitted to offer this evidence.
  3. Claims of erratic driving, such as crossing the double yellow line, are easier to attack for drivers on Martha’s Vineyard as the roads throughout the island, in Edgartown, Chilmark, Oak’s Bluff and West Tisbury are extremely narrow. Given the usually large Deer population on Martha’s Vineyard, most drivers would drive on the center line to provide greater ability to avoid an Deer darting into the Road.

If you have questions about what to do after being arrested for OUI on Martha’s Vineyard, feel free to call Attorney DelSignore at 781-686-5924.