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No drunk driving charges for retired Massachusetts trooper

A retired Massachusetts state trooper who was involved in an accident has been convicted of negligent driving and leaving the scene of an accident. He will not, however, face drunk driving charges.

The incident occurred on March 30 when the former state trooper crashed his car into a utility pole in West Newbury. The accident, which happened at about 10:30 p.m., snapped the pole in half and cut power to a large surrounding area for more than 10 hours. The trooper allegedly kept driving with the airbags deployed. Police located the man driving near the Rocks Village Bridge.

In many cases such as this Massachusetts accident the police conduct sobriety tests at the scene. In this case the police failed to administer any type of OUI tests at all. According to reports, the police on the scene were told by the man that he only had two drinks. The police did not have the man submit to any type of sobriety field tests nor any type of blood alcohol testing. Some think this may possibly be due to favoritism of the officer.

Nevertheless, as a result of the lack of proof, drunk driving charges cannot be made. There appears to have been a prosecutorial determination that OUI charges would not stick because the proper procedures were not followed. In this and other cases, mistakes made at the time of arrest may assist the driver in lowering or completely avoiding potential charges or otherwise help avoid being charged or convicted of OUI in Massachusetts. The burden of each and every criminal prosecution is on the prosecution, and solely on the prosecution; thus, if mistakes are made at the time of arrest, those typically impact what transpires in a courtroom.

Source: Newbury Port News, "Drunk driving charges unlikely in trooper crash," Bill Kirk, June 4, 2012

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