If you are charged with “operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor” in Massachusetts, the attorneys at PiltserCowan Law can help you achieve the best possible outcome. These charges have one of the highest acquittal rates(*) of any charge in Massachusetts thanks to a strong law enforcement bias of making arrests in marginal cases, combined with a high bar for the state to actually convict somebody of the crime.
Police Over-Arrest for OUI
Because of the safety hazard that impaired drivers pose on the roads, Massachusetts police officers are trained to arrest drivers on suspicion of OUI, even where the officer has every reason to know that the arrest is unlikely to survive a criminal trial. Several of the tools that police use to justify arrests, such as the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” (follow my pen) and portable breath test, are inadmissible or rarely admissible in court. Officers are trained to recite certain catch phrases by rote, such as a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage,” but will admit when questioned on the stand that they cannot measure a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by the smell, and that the alcohol in the beverage is actually not what makes the smell.
Beat the Breathalyzer
Even the full evidentiary breath tests used at the police station are only admissible in court if the police and the prosecutor jump through numerous, rigorous hoops. Attorney Piltser-Cowan was one of the early pioneers of litigation to challenge the reliability of the breath test in Massachusetts, and laid the groundwork for tens of thousands of breath tests to be excluded from evidence, dating back to 2011 and forward to this day. Thanks in part to his work, no breath tests are being used in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until the state Office of Alcohol Testing passes rigorous accreditation and training on the proper handling of evidence.
If you are charged with OUI in Massachusetts and need an experienced criminal defense lawyer, give us a call at 617-906-6268