Recently in Open Container Law Category

January 6, 2011

Like Moths to a Flame: Drunk Drivers Drawn to Bright Lights

In a recent post in our Boston Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, we sited an increase in accidents involving Massachusetts State Troopers and their cruisers when drivers fail to pass them safely.

Subsequent research suggests the "ultra-bright," energy efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) that cruisers were fitted with five years ago, while considered more effective, may actually cause drunk drivers who are "drawn to bright lights," to approach closer than they otherwise might.

State Trooper Steven LaRocco was injured earlier this year when his cruiser was rear-ended while pulled over on the Massachusetts Turnpike. The Boston Globe reported, LaRocco admits that the "lights kind of scream at you," but that he doesn't think the LEDs cause the proposed "moth effect."

September 20, 2010

Gardner and Smith Plea Not Guilty to OUI and Motor Vehicle Homicide Charges in Death of Highway Construction Worker

One Tuesday, September 14, Gardner and Smith were allegedly driving drunk on Route 9 and crashed into a highway construction crew. The crash was at a high speed, and killed Gregory Vilidnitsky, an inspector for the state's Department of Transportation. Police and prosecutors say the two were drunk behind the wheel when they smashed into Vilidnisky and then into an oil truck. According to the prosecutor at arraignment, the two men admitted to drinking before driving. In fact, Smith admitted to police that he had consumed four to five jack and coke drinks, and felt intoxicated. The two then tried to run away but were apprehended by the construction crew and an officer on duty. Gardner and Smith are both carpenters who were staying at a hotel in Framingham.

The two men were arraigned in Framingham District Court on September 15, 2010. Both Gardner and Smith claim the other was the driver, and both pled not guilty to the various charges, including: Operating under the Influence (OUI) and Motor Vehicle Homicide. Gardner was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 cash bail, on charges of speeding, motor vehicle homicide and, if convicted, this would be his second OUI. Smith was ordered to be held in lieu of $50,000 cash bail. This is Smith's third OUI charge, and faces a significant sentence if convicted. The prosecutor explained, during arraignment, that a strong odor of alcohol emanated from both Gardner and Smith when apprehended, and they were glassy eyed.

These men are no strangers to a courtroom. Gardner has 11 convictions on his criminal record, including drug convictions and one for operating a car with a suspended license. Smith has two prior OUI convictions in Vermont. Under Megan's Law in Massachusetts, consecutive OUI convictions increase the sentences suspects face. According to Gardner's lawyer, the major question at trial will be who was driving, because that person will face more serious consequences.

2 Held in Death of Highway Worker

Two held on High Bail After Highway Workers Death in Framingham

July 30, 2010

OUI Suspect Arrested

Officers responded to a car accident at Sullivan Square. Officers upon arrival, observed
two individuals arguing. The operator of vehicle 1 accused the operator of vehicle 2 of
causing substantial damage to her car after rear ending her car at a red light.

Police officers spoke to the operator of the second car, Hunter Delench, 26, of Boston,
and asked if he had consumed any alcohol. Delench replied "I don't drink and drive".
Officers observed that the operator was unsteady on his feet and had an odor of alcohol
on his breath. Officers then found four empty cans of beer and two other full cans of beer
in the vehicle. The suspect then failed to properly perform the sobriety tests administered
or heeding instructions given to him by officers.

Delench, was arrested and charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and in
violation of the Open Container Law.

BPDNews, July 19, 2010 - OUI Suspect Gets His Wish

If you need a Boston, Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer for a drug offense or an arson offense or a masschusetts dui offense please contact Attorney Francis T. Obrien today at (617) 512-0939.

June 13, 2010

Open Container: "Crime Against Decency"?

On Sunday, Anthony Gayhart, 23, of Chelsea, and Stephen Gayhart, 24, of East Boston, was arrested for "drinking and possession of open alcoholic beverage in public."

This type of crime falls under "crimes against chastity, morality, decency and good order." According to Chapter 272, Section 59 of Massachusetts General Law, drinking or the possession of an open alcoholic beverage in public is in violation of "regulations relating to streets, reservations, or parkways."

Police officers have the ability to arrest any individual in violation of this law, without a warrant, and keep them in custody until his or her court date.

An "open container" as defined by Chapter 90, Section 24I of Massachusetts General Law is "any bottle, can or other receptacle used to contain [alcohol] that has been opened or has a broken seal" or where the alcohol has been "partially removed or consumed."

Chelsea Record, July 17th 2010 Chelsea Record Arrest Report

Please contact the established criminal defense lawyers at Parker Scheer, if you or someone you know needs representation in an "open container" case.