The Commonwealth can charge you with operation of a motor vehicle while being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol (OUI). In Massachusetts, it is not illegal to consume alcohol before driving. What is illegal is when you operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08% or above, or consume enough alcohol or drugs so as to reduce your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Performing field sobriety tests or taking the breathalyzer is your choice. However, your agreement or refusal to take these tests can have a significant impact on your ability to fight the charges against you and to retain a valid license.
There are other motor vehicle crimes in this category including but not limited to motor vehicle homicide, driving to endanger, leaving the scene of property damage, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. Not only do these charges have criminal penalties if they result in a conviction against you, i.e., fines and/or jail time, but they can also have unforeseen collateral consequences, such as impacting your ability to retain or reinstate your license in the future.
If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, call us for a free consultation. We are here to fight for you!