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Massachusetts Operating Under the Influence of Drugs 

In Massachusetts, you can be charged with an OUI if you are suspected of driving and being under the influence of any drug, including prescription drugs, marijuana/pot, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, et. al. It is illegal to be impaired or drive while high on any substance. If you have drugs in your possession, the police may also charge you with drug possession.

Under Massachusetts Laws, an Operating Under the Influence of Drugs charge is very similar to the charge of Operating Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor (i.e., Alcohol). The arrest process, penalties, and legal defense strategies are similar to a more typical OUI/DUI alcohol / drunk driving charge.

We defend and fight lots of OUI drugs cases, and have won almost all of them.

Give us a call to talk to Massachusetts attorney who beats lots of OUI drugs cases. Find out how we can best protect you and challenge the facts of the police conduct, the legality of the stop, proving vehicle operation, and other factors that come up in these cases.

In order to convict you, the state must establish:

  1. that you took drugs
  2. the drugs are legally in the category of banned substances (marijuana, heroin/opiates, stimulants, depressants)
  3. the drugs caused you to be impaired
  4. while operating a motor vehicle 
  5. on a public way in Massachusetts

In the case of an OUI Drugs stop, it is best to not perform any roadside tests, just as with an OUI Alcohol case. You should politely refuse any such request for field sobriety tests, and tell the police officer that you wish to speak with an attorney. You should not make any other statements, and not answer any questions other than your name and address.

Operating Under the Influence of Drugs - Penalties

The penalty if found guilty is the same as a standard OUI, but you usually don't have an immediate license suspension related to a breath test refusal or failure if you weren't asked to take the test.

OUI Drugs Defense Strategies

There are many opportunities for us to attack each and every element of the charge. Since a breathalyzer or breath test machine isn't applicable to drugs, it can be much more difficult for the state to prove their case. 

In particular, an OUI case involving prescription drugs is particularly difficult for the state to prove, since they need expert testimony from a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to even establish that the drug you took is against the law. Many prescriptions drugs are not specifically listed and categorized according to the applicable Massachusetts criminal laws.

I've had cases where the prosecutor could not establish that a prescription drug was illegal to take and operate a motor vehicle. Many prescription drugs fall into this category - sedatives and sleep aids, such as Ambien or other unclassified prescription drugs - Xanax, Neurontin, Lamictal, Topamax and more. In these situations, the judge must dismiss the case

If you've been arrested on an OUI Drugs in Massachusetts, take advantage of my free consultation. I've beaten operating under the influence of drug cases before, and my extensive experience with all types of MA OUI and criminal cases will help me protect and defend your rights and freedom. I'll also handle any illegal drug possession charges as part of a flat fee. Call me at (781) 380-7730 for a free case assessment and defense strategies.


Russell Matson, Attorney at Law
(781) 380-7730

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