Why is It Difficult to Prove OUI Drugs Charge in Massachusetts?

Why is It Difficult to Prove OUI Drugs Charge in Massachusetts?

OUI drugs charge in Massachusetts(OUI-Drugs) is similar to OUI-alcohol. The penalties are the same, and the way the case is framed is similar as well.

To prosecute an accused guilty of OUI-drugs, the prosecution must prove that the accused was operating a motor vehicle, that she/ he was driving the vehicle on a public way, and she/ he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs (the” intoxication” element) at the time the motor vehicle was operated. There is another element in OUI-drugs cases that the prosecution must prove – the drugs the accused was under the influence of are banned and illegal to consume.

In cases where there isn’t enough evidence of OUI alcohol, the investigation officer may believe that the accused is impaired and charge her/ him with driving under the influence of drugs. Usually, investigating officers try to bring an OUI alcohol charge instead of an OUI drug charge because it’s easier for the officer to charge operating under the influence of alcohol.

In this blog, we shall discuss why an OUI drugs charge in Massachusetts is difficult to prove at the trial.

It’s Difficult to Prove the Type of Drug being Used

The investigating officer or the opposition lawyer cannot simply charge that the accused was under the influence of any prohibited drug. There must be sufficient evidence that she/ he was under the influence of a drug that is listed in the law that governs the OUI drug law in Massachusetts.


Officers are Often Not Trained as a Drug Recognition Expert

The officer responsible for arresting the accused often doesn’t have the knowledge to form the opinion that she/ he was under the influence of drugs. As per the law, an OUI drugs case can’t be registered based on subjective information.


Expert Testimony is Required

A testimony from an expert is often needed to prove the impact a drug would have on an individual’s ability to drive. An OUI drug is often based on statements or admissions made by the driver who has been accused of drug consumption, or on the odor of the drug. Even if a prohibited drug was ingested, an attorney would have to furnish relevant evidence citing that the drug had impaired the driver’s ability to drive safely.

Field Sobriety Tests Detect Impairment by Alcohol NOT Drugs

Field sobriety tests carried out by officers in OUI drug arrests are designed to detect impairment by alcohol and not drugs. Accordingly, the officer’s investigation is not based toward detecting impairment by drugs. Similar to an OUI alcohol case, an OUI drug case requires evidence that the drug consumed by the driver reduced the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

So, here was a detailed guide on the difficulty of proving OUI drugs charges in Massachusetts during a trial. However, it’s always advisable to seek the help of an experienced MA OUI lawyer so that the court of law dismisses the case in a short time-frame.