Massachusetts State Senator Michael D. Brady was arrested and charged with OUI while driving home through Weymouth. He was spotted driving erratically on Route 18 by a citizen who called 911, and the police also observed him swerving between the two southbound lanes.
The police report notes that Senator Brady admitted to having been drinking, and told the officer he was a State Senator. The officer did not suggest that the Senator tried to use his position to influence the investigation or arrest.
All the evidence does suggest he was significantly impaired. The officer performed several field sobriety tests, including many that have no scientific consensus to prove impaired driving ability and aren’t generally admissible in court, such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus, alphabet, and counting backward. He also failed the 9 step walk and turn and the one leg stand, which are validated and accepted by NHTSA as having a high correlation with impairment.
But claims of seeking special privilege are totally unsupported by the facts. A Boston Globe reporter suggesting he was “effectively pulled rank” on twitter, and a MassGOP spokesman accused him of “leveraging the influence of his taxpayer-funded public office”.
But identifying yourself as a Senator and presenting an ID is hardly an implicit threat. And he literally said nothing else about it, nor at any time was he belligerent, according to the police report. If he HAD been difficult or tried to intimidate the officer, you can be sure the officer would have noted that in the police report. But that didn’t happen.
It is clear from the news reports that the Senator got zero special treatment because of his status as a prominent state politician. And that is how things almost always work, and how they should work. Everyone did their job ethically and correctly.
- The full police report was immediately obtained and published by the press.
- We learned about previous OUI arrest (not a conviction) in 1998. I’m sure we will be hearing more about that.
- We know about his seat belt violation from 15 years ago since the reporter got access to his RMV records.
- And we know he is living large like all political bigwigs, cruising around in his subcompact Chevy Sonic.
However, this case plays out, the most likely outcome being a 1st offense CWOF, which is standard in these cases, the public should know that Brady was treated like any other citizen would be. And all evidence shows he is extremely remorseful, taking responsibility, and had admitted himself to an alcohol treatment program.
And it remains true that virtually anyone can find themselves facing a criminal charge for OUI. It is often the result of one or more regrettable bad decisions or even a mistake by the police. After all, literally everyone who is arrested is not guilty of a crime. That should be obvious, or we wouldn’t need courts at all.
But even when the person admits guilt, it is rare for another arrest or incident to follow. Almost everyone learns their lesson and never finds themselves drunk behind the wheel again.