Massachusetts OUI law prohibits driving under the influence of drugs in the same manner as driving under the influence of alcohol. In cases where, there is insufficient evidence of OUI alcohol, a police officer may still believed that you are impaired and charge you with driving under the influence of drugs.
Typically, most officers will attempt to bring an OUI alcohol charge before an OUI drugs charge because it is easier for the officer to charge operating under the influence of alcohol.
A charge of OUI drugs is difficult for the Commonwealth to prove at trial. Below is also a video explaining the four reasons. There are four reasons for this:
The Commonwealth cannot simply allege that you were under the influence of some unknown drug. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were under the influence of a drug that is listed in the law that governs operating under the influence of drugs (depressant, narcotics or stimulant).
This means that the officer that arrested you may not have the credentials to confidently state that you were under the influence of drugs and an OUI drugs case cannot be charged based on subjective information like this.
OUI drugs case dismissed after Attorney DelSignore negotiated a plea with the district attorney
Expert testimony is often needed to prove the impact a drug would have on your ability to drive. An OUI drug charge is often based on statements or admissions from the driver of drug consumption or based on the odor of the drug.
Field sobriety tests used by officers in OUI drugs arrests were designed to detect impairment by alcohol not drugs; accordingly, the officer’s investigation is not geared toward detecting an impairment by drugs. Like an OUI alcohol case, an OUI drugs case requires proof that the narcotic drug reduced a motorist’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.
An OUI drugs charge requires the Commonwealth to prove what drug caused the impairment.
Attorney DelSignore describes the 4 reasons why an OUI Drugs charge is difficult to prove
A police officer will evaluate a motorist’s, coordination and balance to determine impairment by drugs. Officers will also use a test referred to as the horizontal gaze and nystagmus test and a VGN test, vertical gaze and nystagmus.
In some OUI drugs arrests, an officer will ask motorist to submit to a 12 step test referred to as a DRE evaluation. An officer suspecting a driver is under the influence of drugs may also request a blood or urine test. At trial, an experienced OUI lawyer in Massachusetts can challenge the accuracy and scientific reliability of these tests as part of the defense at trial.
Contact Attorney DelSignore directly at 781-686-5924 to set up a FREE NO-OBLIGATION consultation about a Massachusetts drug charge.Related Pages
The Commonwealth may rely on a DRE, Drug Recognition Expert to move their case- learn how to challenge that evidence in Court and why it is not reliable. If the officer in your case is a DRE, it is important to understand the significance of their involvement in your case. For further reading on this topic, we recommend visiting DRE Evaluation In Massachusetts OUI Drugs Charge.