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Know Your Rights: A Guide to OUI Checks in Massachusetts

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As part of their ongoing initiative to uphold road safety, the Massachusetts State Police conducts regular sobriety tests at random checkpoints throughout the state. Their efforts help prevent motor accidents by removing intoxicated drivers from the road and deterring the public from drunk driving.

However, what do you do when it’s you who gets pulled over by the police? It can be a frustrating experience, especially when you’re not intoxicated. Nevertheless, you must comply, but you need to know your rights to keep yourself protected.

Prepare Yourself

As soon as you see a police vehicle trailing close by, turn your signal on and safely pull over to the side of the road. You don’t need to go down your vehicle. Instead, roll down your window and wait for the police officer to approach. 

Answer the Officer’s Questions

The officer may have plenty of questions, and they may also request to see some documents such as your license, registration, and proof of insurance.

When an officer asks you if you’ve been drinking, be mindful of your answer because it can be used against you. You also have the right to refuse to answer the officer’s question. 

If you refuse to answer the question, you will be asked to step outside the vehicle. However, you may respectfully decline. It is your right to remain inside your vehicle unless you are under arrest. 

Take Field Sobriety Tests and Breathalyzers

When you exit the vehicle, you will be asked to take sobriety tests. Here in Massachusetts, you have the right to decline, regardless of whether you’ve been drinking or not. You are also not required to take the PBT (Preliminary Breath Test). 

If you are placed under arrest for OUI (Operating while Under the Influence) and brought to the station, you will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical test. You can refuse to take these as well, but doing so can result in the suspension of your driving privileges. 

If you are arrested due to OUI, you have the right to an attorney. In fact, seeking legal counsel should be the first thing you should do when you are arrested and taken to the station. Make sure not to sign anything, provide any statements, or make any choices without your criminal defense lawyer’s advice. 

Conclusion

The state of Massachusetts carries such operations to ensure safety on the road. If you are pulled over by the police, whether due to OUI or during their random checks, knowing your rights is essential. The list above can help you handle the situation well. 

In the event that you’re put under arrest, make sure to have a criminal defense lawyer by your side. It’s essential not to say, sign, or do anything while you’re at the station unless your lawyer is present. 

Getting pulled over by the police can be stressful. However, you can make it less of a problem if you know how to handle it properly.

Finally, don’t drive when you’re under the influence. Practice safe driving at all times. Should you drink when you’re out, have someone else drive you or take an Uber. It’s safer and more responsible. 

Facing an OUI charge? We are criminal defense lawyers in Massachusetts, and we’re ready to represent you. Contact us today for a consultation.

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