A thirty-eight year old mother of two was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and two counts of child endangerment. The incident occurred on September 23, 2008 when two young boys ages 5 and 9 asked a female witness for assistance because their mother was "passed out drunk" in the car. A responding police officer reported that the woman was "pretty intoxicated" when he arrived.
According to reports, at approximately 8 p.m., the woman was on her way to the father of the children up at work when she pulled the car over in a parking lot close to an elementary school. The police responded and ultimately sent a cruiser to pick the children's father up at work. The children appeared to be "pretty shaken" up. The woman posted bail and an arraignment is set for November 3rd. The Department of Youth and Family Services will follow up on this matter.
If you, a family member or a friend is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol you should contact an experienced attorney immediately. In order for the state to prove the case against you it must prove that you were driving a motor vehicle, that you were under the influence of alcohol and that you were driving on a public way. The issue that is most contested at trial is whether an individual is "under the influence" of alcohol. A common misconception is that a person must be drunk to be convicted of this offense. However, the law only requires that if your "ability" to operate a motor vehicle is impaired, you may be convicted. Thus, it is not necessary for the state to prove that you actually drove in an unsafe manner.
In order to prove its case the Commonwealth usually presents evidence of road side sobriety tests performed by a suspect. The police officers often describe that a suspect used "slurred speech," that the suspect had an unsteady gait and that the suspect failed to follow directions. An experienced Boston Attorney is necessary to successfully discredit an officer's testimony in this area and illustrate the unreliable nature of these common "field sobriety tests." The District Attorney also often presents evidence of a breathalyzer result that is above the legal limit. A Massachusetts Attorney is essential to ensure that any breathalyzer test was properly administered. Any impropriety in the machinery or in the administration of the test can be grounds to file a motion to suppress. Successful litigation of the motion to suppress can lead to the exclusion of this evidence at trial.
The operation of a motor vehicle does not just encompass being behind the wheel of a car as it travels down the road. The state can prove this element when the car keys are in the ignition in certain situations. Additionally, the requirement that driving take place on a "public way" is often the source of contention at trial. A public way traditionally includes any road that is maintained by the state and on which the public has the right to access. Thus, in most situations a driveway and some parking lots may not qualify as a "public way." If the state fails to prove any one of these three elements you will be entitled to an acquittal.
If you are arrested and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol retaining the services of Kathleen M. McCarthy will ensure that every aspect of the case is examined so that she can mount a successful defense for you.