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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious.

The news report "The final version of Melanie's Bill will leave the current penalty in place for people without prior convictions or refusals. It lays out longer suspensions for people with prior convictions, but not refusals. Also, drivers who are acquitted will get their licenses back immediately."

But a CJIS transmision seemed to infer that refusal = loss of license for life.

Has anyone seen an exact official copy of the wording of this new law?
 

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Also, drivers who are acquitted will get their licenses back immediately."
That's a freaking waste. SO refuse the BT, get acquitted in Court because of no BT and get your license reinstated immediately. WHat a waste. According to the CJIS printout last night , my understanding is that there is no more temp license issued and suspension is immediately issued. Also refusing the BT means a license loss from 6 months to life. I did not see the new language, but I hope they didn't throw in there the acquittal part. Suspension for refusing the BT was an adminstrative suspension from the RMV regardless of the outcome of your OUI court case. If that was changed then this whole new Bill is nothing more than a farce with no teeth. Right now people don't hire lawyers and take the 24D program quite a bit due to the 30 day suspension and license reisntatement after three days in entering the program but with this new law, it' worth it to refuse ,hire an attorney and get out with free, except for $10K for your attorney.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Darn, sounds like it does suck.

Refusal was always another "crime" in and of itself, regardles of the outcome of the OUI Liquor offence, and the PD still "won" even if they lost the trial becasue said nitwit lost their license for at leat 18 months anyways. Bench trials w/ the correct right-wing judges are easy wins for defendants as it is.

Grrr... damn I hate being in a Blue state sometimes.....
 

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kwflatbed said:
Yes it sucks thanks to our great Politicians.
Correction: Yes it sucks thanks to our great part-time, overpaid, attorney/politicians. :jestera:

That is horrible and they should be ashamed to have amended the bill and watered it down so much in the memory of a young innocent victim. So the jury still can be duped into thinking it is the first offense when in reality it is a subsequent offence. In many cases, as we all know, with the Guilty's/CWOF's and NG's combined it could be the 10th, 11th, 12th time offender has been hooked for OUI. Certainly a fair and impartial jury doesn't need to know about the truth and the "big picture". It seems like the courts don't have faith in the jury's they choose to "do the right thing" and not automatically convict someone based on their past. I would say, atleast from friends and family I have known to be seated on a jury, they take their duty very seriously when chosen.

Oh, the requirement for the ignition interlocks was established for those on a Cinderella license. I am sure they won't find away around that! :!:

 

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Language is the same as it was before Melanie's Bill.

Old law.
No license shall be restored under any circumstances and no restricted or hardship permits shall be issued during the suspension period imposed by this paragraph; provided, however, that the defendant may immediately, upon the entry of a not guilty finding or dismissal of all charges under this section, section twenty-four G or twenty-four L, and in the absence of any other alcohol related charges pending against said defendant, apply for and be immediately granted a hearing before the court which took final action on the charges for the purpose of requesting the restoration of said license. At said hearing, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that said license be restored, unless the commonwealth shall establish, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that restoration of said license would likely endanger the public safety. In all such instances, the court shall issue written findings of fact with its decision.
Now from all my experiences, just about every person I arrested for OUI and refused the BT, still had their license suspended for the 180 days. Hopefully this is the case with this new law as well. It's sad that these laws are written to benefit certain groups financially, lawyers, privtae counselors and now the people that sell the ignition lock, maintain and inspect the ignition lock and hiring the new RMV inspectors that will handle alot of these things. How about making it simple, refused the BT the first time, one year loss of license, no hardship, allow the jury to hear that he refused and subsequent offense, loss for life with no hardship and ship him to Tanzania.
 

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***CHANGES RE: NEW OUI LAWS***

Governor Romney signed into law changes to the OUI statute that are effective immediately. (These changes affect all arrests made as of now.)

New OUI booking forms, and changes to the breath test machines and software changes are being made. Until such time as the software changes are made and the new forms are distributed, please be aware of the following:


NOTemporary license is to be issued, the suspensions are immediate now with the rescinding of the previous law requiring officers to issue one.

Notices of Suspension: These must still be served on the defendant. YOU MUST MAKE 2 EDITS BY HAND TO THESE.

In the "Notice of Suspension" paragraph, strike the words "18 months", hand write the word "lifetime"

Strike the words "automatically at the end of the 15th day after the issuance of this document." and enter the word "immediately."

New Rights Forms will be ready shortly, and information on how to obtain them will be sent out. The software changes to the Breath Test notices are on-going.
 

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It has been this way for at least 8 years or so. If a Defendant refuses the BT, gets a quick Bench Trial and wins (no problem with a refusal) he can immediately make a Motion THAT DAY and get his license back before he leaves the Court.

It's a joke. Mass can talk tough about OUI and all their penalties; hell...make it the Death Penalty. The fact remains it is very tough to get an OUI conviciton without being able to testify about BT and FST refusals. Until this changes, it is all smoke and mirrors.
 

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Related To Story
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Video: Gail Huff Reports On Crash

1 Killed, 1 Injured In Alleged Drunken Driving Crash

Driver May Face Melanie's Law Penalties

POSTED: 7:17 am EST October 31, 2005
UPDATED: 8:04 am EST October 31, 2005

BOSTON -- Melanie's Law, signed into law only days ago, may get an early test after a deadly crash in Methuen, Mass., over the weekend.

Police said the man accused of running down two people on Lowell Street, John F. Comeau III, was driving drunk and it was not his first offense.

NewsCenter 5's Gail Huff reported that one of the victims, Juan Martinez, 19, of Lawrence, Mass., is listed in critical condition at Boston's Beth Israel hospital.

His friend, Joshua C. Colon, 23, of Lawrence, Mass., was killed. His brother said Joshua wanted to be a rap artist.

"I loved him so much, I always pushed him to do whatever he wanted to do in life. Just to do it and do it right," Jason Colon said.

Colon and Martinez had gotten out of their SUV when they were hit. Colon was pronounced dead at Saints Memorial Medical Center in Lowell, Mass.

The driver of the pickup truck that hit them did not stop. Police found the smashed pickup truck in the backyard of a home in Methuen where Comeau lives with his parents. Comeau, 21, was arrested.

"I hope, I hope everybody learns from this. Don't get into the car when you're drinking," his aunt Laurel Hanna said.

Comeau was convicted of drunken driving earlier this year.

"It infuriates me and the fact that he was arrested prior to this and he was still allowed to operate a vehicle," Jason Colon said.

If convicted of drunken driving again, Comeau would be subjected to the provisions of the new Melanie's Law, which requires stiffer penalties for repeat offenders. One change allows prosecutors to use prior drunken driving convictions against repeat offenders at their sentencing. Melanie's Law also creates new categories of crimes: including driving under the influence with a child under 14, and manslaughter by drunken driving.

The law is named after 13-year old Melanie Powell of Marshfield, who was killed 2 years ago by a repeat drunk driver.
 

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Melanie's Law also creates new categories of crimes: including driving under the influence with a child under 14, and manslaughter by drunken driving.
I liked the first version where there as an "Aggrivated OUI" charge if the BAC% was over a certain limit. I see that got cut out of the final version.
 

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While on the stand I often find myself wishing that a few judges, defense attorneys and politicians would be killed by a drunk driver. Then mabe this stupid liberal state would get its head out of its ass. Or mabe if a politician killed some one in an OUI accident. Oops, my bad. FAT TEDDY ALREADY GOT AWAY WITH THAT! !:wow:
 

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Notice the convoluted and chaotic structure of the statute keeps getting amplified each time they amend it. 90-24 has been in desperate need of simplification for decades and yet the lawyers in the legislature like to keep it needlessly complex so as to protect their industry and the status they enjoy as the "interpreters" of the law for all the common folk. Lawyers are after all the priests of the modern day religion of litigation...... but alas I digress.

The new amendments are, like most things, a mixed blessing. Notice the emphasis on forwarding reports to the registrar forthwith. Many a case will sail through that loophole alone. The entire issue of ignition interlocking devices is a waste of time and money (I wonder who will spring up with interests in said industry?). The fact that none of the really bad people in our society EVER drive vehicles registered to themselves having been lost on the powers that be long ago. Just determining the correct paragraph and subsection to charge will be an ordeal all its own at 0300 dark.

People get the government and the laws that they deserve.
 

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The OUI law that I printed out was 26 pages long. What other criminal offense in Massachusetts is 26 pages long. I believe murder is only a few sentences.
 

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Another portion of the law states that any 17-21 year old who gets caught for OUI with a BAC of .20 or higher gets put in a second offenders program regardless if he/she has ever been caught before. I've seen this written as both .20 and .02, anyone know which is correct? Does a minor really get to be almost 3x the limit (.24) before being sent to a program?
 
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