Springfield, Massachusetts is known as the “City of Firsts”. From the first basketball game to the first set of Goodyear tires, Springfield is known for its spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. But one “first” you don’t want to have in the Springfield area is your first DUI arrest and conviction.
Drunk driving is a serious crime in the state of Massachusetts. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state are determined to eliminate this crime from their areas through increased patrols and checkpoints and legislators are just as determined to decrease the chances of repeat offenses by increasing the severity of the penalties assigned to those who are convicted.
If you have been arrested for a drunk driving offense in the Springfield area, your best response is to contact an experienced DUI attorney as quickly as possible. These legal professionals have seen hundreds of cases just like yours and will be able to quickly assess all the factors in your case and recommend the actions that are best for you specifically. Additionally, they are well-informed regarding the constantly changing legislation in their legal specialty, ensuring that they are able to develop a defense that is appropriate.
Drunk driving is referred to as “operating a vehicle under the influence” or OUI in the state of Massachusetts. A driver is considered OUI if they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicating substances, or if they demonstrate a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater. The driver’s BAC is determined by a chemical test of his or her breath or blood. If the driver refuses to provide this sample or if the sample shows that their BAC is above the legal limit, their driver’s license will be suspended for between 30 days and 5 years.
Following your arrest, you will have only 15 days in which to contest this suspension. This is referred to as the administrative license suspension. If you are convicted of OUI, your license may also be suspended for up to 90 days if this is your first OUI offense and this is a completely separate matter. If you did submit to the chemical test to determine your BAC, you will be eligible for a hardship permit, which will allow you to drive only under specified circumstances.
In addition to the suspension of your license, first time OUI offenders can anticipate substantial fines as a punishment. You may also be eligible for “continuance without finding” (CWOF) ruling in your case. This is not a conviction but has the same penalties as an OUI conviction and will be part of your permanent driver’s record.
A CWOF ruling will enable you to serve probation rather than jail time in your case. Ascertaining this ruling requires negotiation by a qualified OUI/DUI lawyer. Take action today by speaking with a legal professional and ensure that you are able to maintain as much of your freedom as is possible.