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Massachusetts DUI News

MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE POSTPONES SOME ASPECTS OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

On November 8, voters in Massachusetts approved Question 4 legalizing recreational marijuana use and regulating it similarly to alcoholic beverages. Implementation of the new scheme is happening in two phases. Beginning December 15, 2016, it became legal for an adult (defined as 21 or older) to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in one’s primary residence or up to 1 ounce outside the home (but not to consume it in public). An adult may also grow up to 6 ... Read More »

UPDATE ON DRAEGER LITIGATION

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently modified the scheduling order set by the District Court Department regarding the defense bar’s challenge to the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath test machines. Justice Botsford, citing the complex nature of the matter, extended the litigation into next year. The modified schedule allows the defense bar more time to examine the machines and for all parties to produce and review expert opinions. Pursuant to the modified schedule, the defense bar must ... Read More »

RAPID DEPLOYMENT OF AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

It was a busy week in the nascent era of autonomous vehicles. 9/14: Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the City of Boston was selected by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum as a focus city to participate in a 1-year study of autonomous vehicles in an urban environment. The City is now trying to coordinate with the state Department of Transportation and with the legislature to ensure state regulations keep up with the new technologies and to determine if at this ... Read More »

BODY CAMERAS IN BOSTON

The Boston Police Department has been considering the use of body cameras. Police Commissioner William Evans and the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, the department’s largest union, had proposed that a voluntary pilot program begin September 2. That pilot program was to include 100 volunteers to wear the cameras for six months to determine the effectiveness of the cameras and the impact on privacy concerns for both officers and civilians. That pilot program, however, immediately faced a troubled start as not ... Read More »

DRAEGER ALCOTEST LITIGATION IN MASSACHUSETTS

The Massachusetts defense bar is challenging the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510. The 9510 is currently the only breath test machine used in Massachusetts to determine the alleged blood alcohol content of driver’s arrested for operating under the influence (“OUI”). This litigation had been proceeding simultaneously in the two separate district court departments of Massachusetts: Boston Municipal Court (consisting of 8 district courts in Boston) and the District Court Department (61 district courts outside of Boston). One judge ... Read More »

NEW RULES GOVERNING ACCESS TO COURT RECORDS IN MA

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court approved new rules regarding access to court records. The new rules disseminated on August 10, 2016 are an attempt to balance public access to the records with the legislature’s intent to protect the “privacy interests of litigants, victims, and witnesses in some court cases, such as juvenile proceedings, domestic violence cases and child custody and other family matters.” The new rules govern a variety of ways citizens may access court records. Included are clarifications that ... Read More »

PROPOSAL: IID’S FOR EVERY MA SUSPENSION, EVEN IF FOR LIFE

The Massachusetts legislature is currently considering a bill that would end mandatory license suspensions and waiting periods for hardship licenses for those convicted of driving under the influence.  If passed, the new law would give those drivers an option to install an ignition interlock device (“IID”) in every vehicle they operate rather than endure a minimum 1-year suspension of their driving privileges.  The bill has passed the Senate and was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means on ... Read More »

Massachusetts Implied Consent

Do you hold a Massachusetts license? If so, know that you have already consented to taking a breath or a blood test if you are ever arrested for operating under the influence (OUI). Meaning, it is implied that if you have a MA driver’s license, you consent to a chemical test. Even if you do not hold a MA driver’s license, but are arrested for OUI in MA, you are also subject to MA’s implied consent law. You have every ... Read More »

Sealing or Expunging your Massachusetts Record

You may be wondering if it is possible to have your OUI conviction expunged from your record.  The short answer is no.  An expungement order is a court order to remove and destroy records so that no trace of the information remains.  There are two instances, as it relates to DUI, where your record may be expunged.  First, a judge may have your name changed to “John or Jane Doe” on the criminal complaint and expunge your record if someone was charged ... Read More »

UPDATE: The Dookhan Disaster

Annie Dookhan, the former Massachusetts lab chemist we blogged about over a year ago, is back in court today on the 27 charges brought from tampering with drug samples which may have negatively affected 40,323 cases.  This number comes from a review of her cases, a request made by Governor Deval Patrick, from 2003-2012 which covers her time with the Department of Public Health; however, it would appear there is a separate investigation dating back to 1990 to see whether ... Read More »