Boston Area Man Faces Fifth OUI Charge, Dangerousness Hearing
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that roughly 30 people a day are killed in car accidents that involve drunk drivers (according to data from 2009). This amounted to nearly one-third of the 34,000 traffic deaths America in 2009.
The increased risk of injury and death is one of the main reasons law enforcement makes stopping drinking and driving one of their top priorities. It is also a reason that lawmakers have passed legislation that often mandate strict punishments for people convicted of a DWI, particularly those who are repeat offenders. Thus, anyone facing DWI/OUI charges should have experienced legal representation to ensure his or her rights are protected throughout the criminal process.
Woburn Man Charged With Fifth OUI
According to the Boston Globe, a Woburn man was recently arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and had to undergo a dangerousness hearing as a result. Why was the dangerousness hearing necessary? It turns out that the man is facing his fifth OUI conviction and now faces penalties under Melanie’s Law. Melanie’s Law took effect in 2006 to enhance the penalties for drunk driving offenses.
In addition to enhancing penalties for a DWI/OUI conviction, Melanie’s Law also created a new offense for people who operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a suspended license due to a prior OUI conviction. As a result, a person facing multiple OUI convictions can potentially be charged with two separate crimes.
According to the law, an OUI with a suspended license conviction carries with it a minimum prison sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $10,000. These penalties are in addition to potential sentences for a regular OUI conviction.
Defending Yourself Against Repeat OUI Charges
Although it may seem like an uphill battle, it might be possible to prevent a repeat guilty verdict for operating under the influence. There might be issues with probable cause, whether the evidence was obtained legally, as well as whether field sobriety or BAC analysis tests were administered properly.
You have the right to contest OUI charges regardless if you are facing your first OUI charge or if you have been labeled a repeat offender. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and learn your legal options.