Massachusetts Drunk Driving Statute
Section 24. (1) (a) (1) Whoever, upon any way or in any place to which the public has a right of access, or upon any way or in any place to which members of the public have access as invitees or licensees, operates a motor vehicle with a percentage, by weight, of alcohol in their blood of eight one-hundredths or greater, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, all as defined in section one of chapter ninety-four C, or while under the influence from smelling or inhaling the fumes of any substance having the property of releasing toxic vapors as defined in section 18 of chapter 270 shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years, or both such fine and imprisonment.”Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 90, Section 24 (1)(a)(1)
In Massachusetts, the Commonwealth has the luxury of choosing two different paths in efforts to convict an alleged Massachusetts drunk driver on a charge of operating under the influence. The easiest way for the Commonwealth to obtain a guilty verdict against an alleged drunk-driver is to use the breathalyzer test results.
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level at or higher than .08. If the alleged drunk-driver submits to a breathalyzer test – and those test results are submitted as evidence to the jury – the Commonwealth must only show that the defendant took the breath-test, and the defendant blew a .08 or higher. This “.08 Per Se” drunk driving case is the easiest and fastest way for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to obtain a guilty verdict against an alleged drunk-driver.
No Breathalyzer Test – The Commonwealth Must Prove The Driver Was Impaired Not Drunk
In Massachusetts, if an alleged drunk-driver does not take the breathalyzer test, the Commonwealth is required to prove the defendant was operating the motor vehicle, on a public way, under the influence of alcohol. The Commonwealth is not required to prove the defendant was “drunk.” Rather, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts only requires the prosecuting attorney prove that the operator of the motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol, and that this impairment influenced the driving of the operator. Indeed, based on the drunk driving laws of Massachusetts:
the Commonwealth is not required to show that the defendant actually drove in an unsafe or erratic manner, but must prove a diminished capacity to operate safely. “Commonwealth v. Connolly, 394 Mass. 169, 173 (1985).
American citizens have rights and liberties. We are not to be arrested without cause. We are entitled to due process. We are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights were created to insure the government is for the people, by the people, and of the people.