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DUI/OUI

We defend individuals against allegations of drunk driving or operating under the influence (OUI). OUI, which in some states is called driving under the influence or DUI, involves operating a motor vehicle on a public way while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or other drugs. Especially since Melanie’s Law was enacted in 2005, an OUI conviction can result in severe consequences, including prison time and driver’s license suspension even for a first offense, and steeper penalties (up to 5 years in prison and permanent loss of license) if someone has prior OUI offenses on their record.

The charge of OUI is deceptively simple, but the government must prove several things to secure a conviction. While there are many common situations in OUI cases, every set of facts is unique. We look at each client’s situation individually to formulate a strong defense on one or more of the “essential elements” of OUI. If a police officer does not observe a defendant actually driving a vehicle, especially if there are multiple people in the car, we may be able to contest “operation.” Even if a defendant is behind the wheel, if they are somewhere other than a highway or other public road (for instance, train tracks or a driveway), we can assess whether they were driving on a “public way.”

Probably the most commonly contested issue is whether or not a defendant was “under the influence.” Drivers suspected of drunk driving are typically asked to take a breathalyzer test. If they refuse, their license will be immediately suspended but potentially damaging evidence will not be created. If they agree, a reading of 0.08 (for drivers old enough to drink legally) establishes that the driver is under the influence, no matter how well they seemed to be driving. In such a situation, we would explore whether the breathalyzer machine could have been malfunctioning or incorrectly calibrated, if the officer could have been using it incorrectly, or if for some other reason the reading could be incorrect. State law and regulations specify how a breathalyzer test should be conducted, and failure to follow the proper procedures can result in the test results being thrown out. Without an admissible reading of 0.08, the government has to prove that a defendant consumed alcohol or took drugs, and that those substances actually impaired their driving. This issue, in particular, can often be successfully challenged in court. If the officer did not observe a defendant driving dangerously or erratically, it may also be possible to get the charges thrown out based on an improper traffic stop not based on reasonable suspicion.

We are familiar with the OUI laws and have achieved positive outcomes for our clients. We have taken numerous cases to trial and obtained verdicts of not guilty. For cases that can be resolved before trial, knowledge of the enhancements and penalties under Melanie’s Law is critical for avoiding unnecessary consequences. We always strive for the best possible results for our clients. If you have been arrested or charged with OUI, we encourage you to call us at (617) 742-6020 to speak with an attorney.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I hired Mr Duncan to deal with a very sensitive issue that my daughter had. Since the first contact, I had a very good impression of him. He transmitted confidence and appeared to know exactly what to do. I called and emailed him many times, he was polite and comprehensible with the anxiety of a father and appeared to know every step to solve the case. I strongly recommend Mr Duncan. Flavio Lajoia
★★★★★
If you are reading this review, it means either you or a family member is in trouble and needs immediate legal counsel. Please know your search can end right now because Zalkind, Duncan & Bernstein is the law firm to hire. They are honest, responsive, compassionate and have the experience and expertise to bring... Client
★★★★★
I contacted Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein Law in April 2018 to get help for my son on an education-related matter. We worked primarily with Zoraida Fernandez, an Associate, and when needed met with Ruth O'Meara-Costello, a Partner. Zoraida was excellent. The whole process was emotionally exhausting and depressing and Zoraida was the only bright light in all of it... Nancy O.
★★★★★
I worked with Emma Quinn-Judge and Monica Shah. And from my first contact on the phone, on to my first meeting in their office and during the trial, I found them and the firm's entire team to be a group of consummate legal professionals who are very knowledgeable, patient, dedicated, fair, honest and caring... Chantal C.
★★★★★
I am forever grateful to all the staff at this firm, but in particular, Ms. Shah, Mr. Zalkind and Mr. Silverglate. They represented my son who was being sought for extradition to Scotland. The case took years to fight, covering new legal ground, setting precedence. But each one of these legal eagles went above and beyond the duty of office... Suzanne D.