What does the Prosecution have to prove in a case of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol in Massachusetts?

Posted by David Ellison | Nov 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

In order to prove the charge of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol in Massachusetts, the prosecution has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution will have to prove three key elements in order to prove that a person was operating under the influence of alcohol.

First, the prosecution must prove that the defendant operated a motor vehicle. Second, the prosecution must prove the defendant did so on a public way, or in a place where the public has access, or in a place where members of the public have access as invitees or licensees. Third, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

  1. Operation

In order for the prosecution to prove that a person is “operating” a motor vehicle, they must show that the defendant intentionally manipulated some mechanical or electrical part of the vehicle — like the gear shift or the ignition — which, alone or in sequence, would set the vehicle in motion.


  1. Public Way

Any street or highway that is open to the public and is controlled and maintained by some level of government is a “public way.” Interstate and state highways along with municipal streets and roads are considered a “public way.”


  1. Under the Influence of Alcohol

It is not illegal to drink and drive. It is illegal to be under the influence of alcohol. A person is under the influence of alcohol if they have consumed enough alcohol to reduce their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, by decreasing their alertness, judgment and ability to respond promptly. It means that a person has consumed enough alcohol to reduce their mental clarity, self-control and reflexes, and thereby left them with a reduced ability to drive safely. A person does not have to be drunk to be considered under the influence of alcohol. the prosecution is required to prove that the defendant's ability to drive safely was diminished by alcohol.

David Ellison has represented many people on the charge of OUI Alcohol. He has taken many cases to trial and suppression hearings. If you or a loved one has been charged with OUI Alcohol, contact David today.

About the Author

David Ellison

Attorney David Ellison is the Founding Attorney of Ellison Law LLC.


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