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Asiento asignado por el Registro Nacional de Asociaciones Español: Grupo 1º, Sección 1ª, Numero 600121 - NIF: G76556646 ...

Massachusetts Drugged Driving

In Massachusetts, a person is guilty of a DUI if the person drives while under the influence of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 90 § 24(1)(a)(1) (West 2010).

Implied Consent

In Massachusetts, a person suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol has, by virtue of driving in the state, consented to provide a sample of breath, blood, or urine to police for testing in order to determine the amount of alcohol in his or her system. However, implied consent law does not require that an individual suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana or controlled substance submit to a chemical test in order to screen for the presence of drugs in his or her body. Ergo, in Massachusetts a chemical sample from an accused person should only be given on a voluntarily basis, and no penalties or sanctions apply for refusal to submit to chemical testing for drugs.

Penalties

  • First offense - not more than 30 months of house arrest; fine of $500-$5,000; license suspension for 1 year. NOTE: Alternative disposition available - probation with mandated participation in abuse counseling, license suspension for 45-90 days. Id. § 24(1)(a)(1).

  • Second offense – incarceration for not less than 60 days (30 day mandatory minimum), but not more than 30 months; fine of $600-$10,000; license suspension for 2 years. NOTE: Alternative disposition available – probation, 2-week confined treatment program, License suspension for two years. Id. § 24(1)(a)(1).

  • Third offense felony – incarceration for not less than 180 days (150 day mandatory), but not more than 5 years state prison; fine of $1,000-$15,000; license suspension for 8 years. Id. § 24(1)(a)(1).

  • Fourth offense felony – incarceration for not less than 2 years (1 year Minimum Mandatory), but not more than 5 years; fine of $1,500-$25,000; license suspension for 10 years. Id. § 24(1)(a)(1).

  • Fifth offense felony – incarceration for not less than 30 months, 24 months mandatory minimum, but not more than 5 years; fine of $2,000-$50,000; loss of license for life. Id. § 24(1)(a)(1).

Sobriety Checkpoints

In Massachusetts, sobriety checkpoints are upheld under both the state and federal constitutions.

  • Commonwealth has the burden of proving that sobriety checkpoint is reasonably operated in accordance with established guidelines, but showing of probable cause for stop is not required. Commonwealth v. Shields, 521 N.E.2d 987 (Mass. 1988)

  • Massachusetts courts have upheld drunk-driving roadblocks, but rules random roadblocks to seize narcotics violate Massachusetts constitution. Com. v. Rodriguez, 722 N.E.2d 429 (2000).

Case Law

Com. v. Connolly, 474 N.E.2d 1106 (1985) -- In order to obtain conviction for DUI, Commonwealth need not prove defendant actually drove unskillfully or carelessly.

Com. v. Plowman, 548 N.E.2d 1278, 1281 (1990) -- Massachusetts Supreme Court defined the meaning of "operation" as 'intentionally do[ing] any act or make[ing] use of any mechanical or electrical agency which alone or in sequence will set in motion the motive power of that vehicle." This remains the definition of "operation" today....Under this definition, evidence that an intoxicated person was observed sleeping in the driver's seat of a parked vehicle, with keys in the ignition and the engine running, by itself, does not mandate a finding of "operation" under G.L. c. 90, § 24."

Massachusetts Penalties


Incarceration


Fine

Possession

One ounce or less*

civil offense

none

$100

More than one ounce (first offense)

misdemeanor

6 months**

$500

More than one ounce (subsequent offense)

misdemeanor

6 months***

$500

*Offenders under 18 will be required to attend a drug awareness program or pay a $1,000 fine.
**Probation with records sealed upon completion of probation.
***Probation possible.

Sale or Cultivation

Less than 50 lbs (first offense)

misdemeanor

2 years***

$5,000

Less than 50 lbs (subsequent offense)

misdemeanor

1 – 2.5 years

$1,000 - $10,000

50 to 100 lbs

felony

1 year MMS**** up to 2.5 - 15 years

$500 - $10,000

100 to 2,000 lbs

felony

3 years MMS**** up to 15 years

$2,500 - $25,000

2,000 to 10,000 lbs

felony

5 years MMS**** up to 15 years

$5,000 - $50,000

More than 10,000 lbs

felony

10 years MMS**** up to 15 years

$20,000 - $200,000

Within 1,000 feet of school/100 feet of a park

felony

additional 2 years MMS**** up to 15 years

$1,000 - $10,000

***Probation possible.
****Mandatory minimum sentence.

Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc...)

Paraphernalia possessing with intent to sell, selling, manufacture with intent to sell

misdemeanor

1 - 2 years

$500 - $5,000

Paraphernalia sale to a minor

felony

3 - 5 years

$1,000 - $5,000

Operating under influence (first offense)

misdemeanor

up to 2.5 years

$500 - $5,000, plus additional fees and assessments

License suspensions

Automatically by Registry of Motor Vehicles

1 – 5 years for any marijuana
crime if guilty

 

-Paraphernalia possession is not a crime, although paraphernalia remains subject to seizure and forfeiture.

 

Details

 

Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is a civil offense, subject to a $100 fine like a traffic ticket. Offenders under 18 are required to attend a drug awareness program or pay a $1000 fine. Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500. For first time offenders, the court will sentence the offender to probation and upon successful completion of the probation period, the offender's record will be sealed. For subsequent offenses, probation may still be possible.

Cultivation, possession with intent to sell, delivery or sale of less than 50 pounds of marijuana is punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. For 50 pounds or more, the penalty increases to a mandatory minimum of one year in prison and a possible range of 2.5 - 15 years in prison and a fine of $500 - $10,000. For cultivation or sale of 100 pounds or more the mandatory minimum sentence is three years and up to 15 years in prison, along with a fine of $2,500 - $25,000. For 2,000 pounds or more, the penalties increase to a mandatory minimum 5-year sentence up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $5,000 - $50,000. For any amount of 10,000 pounds or more, the mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years with up to 15 years in prison possible and a fine of $20,000 - $200,000.

Sale of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or 100 fee of a park adds another 2-year mandatory minimum sentence for sale and can go as high as an additional 15 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 - $10,000.

The possession with intent to sell, sale or manufacture of paraphernalia is punishable by 1 - 2 years in jail and a fine of $500 - $5,000, unless the sale was to a minor, in which case the penalty is 3 - 5 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 - $5,000. Government must prove defendant knew, or reasonably should know, that object held for sale, sold, or manufactured will be used to violate of Massachusetts Controlled Substances Act.  The school zone/park mandatory minimum also applies. 



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