While some national statistics show drunk driving incidents and arrests in somewhat of a decline, this does not appear to be the case everywhere, especially in Marshfield, Massachusetts.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, drunk driving, when used in the criminal context, is actually called operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs (OUI) instead of the terms DUI and DWI, which are commonly used in the media and in other jurisdictions.
However, as our Boston drunk driving car accident lawyers can explain, an OUI in Massachusetts is the same charge as what other jurisdictions refer to as a DUI or DWI. According to a recent news article from Wicked Local Marshfield, local police have seen significantly more incidents of OUIs in the past year than they have in the three years prior.
Authorities say drunk driving is most certainly on the rise in their area. This past Memorial Day weekend provided unsettling proof of this unfortunate fact. Local police are not entirely sure why this is the case. While it is common to see more drunk driving arrests in the summer, and especially surrounding holiday weekends, it is the year-over-year increase in drunk driving arrest rates that has authorities puzzled.
Taking a look at the actual numbers, the town police arrested 29 people for drunk driving between New Year’s Day and April 30, 2015. In 2014, there were 17 arrests during this same time period and 20 during the same time frame in 2013. This is no small increase in terms of total percentage increase between this year and previous years.
In this year’s 29 offenses, 13 of them were first offense OUIs, nine of them were for second offense OUIs, and three arrests were for third offense OUIs. The remaining four arrests were for drugged driving or driving while allegedly under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol.
Local police say they are continuing to see people make poor decisions, and this is a major problem in their town and society in general. While they strongly support public awareness campaigns and traffic alcohol education programs, a police officer interviewed for the article said it is a problem with personal behavior and, unless and until people are willing to change their own behavior, nothing will change, and outside influences, including arrests, will not stop people from drunk driving. This is somewhat evident in the fact that many alleged offenders have already been convicted on previous occasions, in some cases more than three times.
However, one measure, called Melanie’s Law, named after a victim of a fatal drunk driving accident in that same town, requires repeat offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their personal vehicle, which requires drivers to blow into a breath tester before starting the car. While there are always examples of people getting around the interlock, including having a child blow into it before starting the car, these devices have been shown to reduce drunk driving on the larger scale.
If you have been injured in a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Marshfield police facing most OUIs in three years , May 29, 2015, Wicked Local Marshfield
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Boston Drivers Urged to Stay Sober on the Fourth of July, July 3, 2014, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog