The $1 trillion infrastructure bill is being called the most important legislation in more than 40 years in the work to stop drunk driving accidents, injuries and deaths.
After a long pandemic, the infrastructure bills calls for expansive funding across all areas of transportation, including airports, public transit, roads, bridges, bike lanes and pedestrian improvements.
The infrastructure bill also includes new safety mandates for automakers, including that new cars be built with technology to detect and reduce drunk driving and for rear-seat reminders to alert parents that a child has been left behind.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Friday, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden’s desk. The U.S. Senate had already approved the bill in August.
“Single Most Important” Legislation to Stop Drunk Driving Accidents
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers called the infrastructure bill the “single most important legislation” in its 41-year history of working to stop drunk driving tragedies.
Drunk driving kills about 10,000 people each year on U.S. roads, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. This accounts for roughly 30 percent of all traffic fatalities.
The infrastructure bill calls for all new cars to comply with an advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology standard. The legislation does not specify what the technology will be.
If the president signs the bill, the NHTSA will be charged with finalizing rules for implementing a technology within three years. Automakers will have an additional two years to incorporate the changes into the production.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving has long advocated that states make breathalyzers mandatory sentencing for those who have been convicted of drunk driving.
The Washington Post interviewed a few experts who said to expect more passive technologies than a breathalyzer.
Potential technologies could work around breath or blood sensors, or cameras.
The NHTSA has worked with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) for more than 10 years to develop technologies that discretely detect alcohol on drivers’ breath.
Drunk Driving Accidents and Injuries in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, drivers who operated under the influence of alcohol killed 120 people in 2018 (Source: MADD). As with the federal numbers, this represents about a third of all traffic fatalities across the state that year.
Drunk driving accidents are preventable if drivers remember their responsibilities. Massachusetts drivers have a responsibility to use reasonable care on the roads. Operating under the influence is both against the law and negligent if you cause a crash resulting in injury.
Drivers also have a responsibility not to operate while impaired by drugs, including marijuana, which was legalized in Massachusetts in 2016.
Free Legal Consultation – Boston Car Accident Lawyers
Founded in 1992, Breakstone, White & Gluck is a top-rated Boston law firm that specializes in representing clients in personal injury and car accident cases. We have expertise in representing victims and families of drunk driving accidents in claims against drivers and in Massachusetts liquor liability claims involving third parties.
Our firm stands out for our experience. Each of our partners offers more than 30 years of experience representing clients in Boston and across Massachusetts.
For a free legal consultation, contact Breakstone, White & Gluck at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
Teen Driver Safety Week is Oct. 18-24, 2020. Breakstone, White & Gluck is sharing articles to encourage parents and teens to collaborate and discuss safe driving decisions.
As every parent well knows, it is not easy to talk to your teen about safe driving decisions. You may talk, while your teen just looks at your car keys. Despite the challenges, we encourage you to be patient and stay the course in these conversations, especially when it comes to discouraging drinking and driving.
Talk to your teen about their responsibilities. In Massachusetts, teens who are between 16 ½ and 18 are eligible for a junior operator’s license. Teens face special restrictions, such as they cannot carry friends who are under 18 without supervision for the first six months of driving. They are also banned from driving between midnight and 5 a.m. Like all drivers, junior operators are not allowed to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs under any circumstances. They can face criminal penalties for operating to endanger/recklessly or while negligent. But the greatest danger is teens who operate while impaired are more likely to cause a drunk driving accident due to their impairment and poor choice.
We are writing about this because teens are more likely to avoid drinking and driving when they make the decision in advance, with a parent’s support, not to drink until they are 21.
Teach teens to respect the legal drinking age. In Massachusetts, you must be at least 21 years old to legally consume alcohol. Make sure your teen knows you expect them not to drink until they reach the legal age. Let them know they can talk to you or another family member if they face pressure to drink or someone offers them alcohol.
Be honest about why you want your teen to avoid alcohol. Explain that you want them to live the best life they can. As a teen, they are still developing physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. As this happens, teens are still developing their values and their compass for making good decisions.
Consider this: those age 12 to 20 consume 11 percent of all alcohol in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Because of their inexperience, teens are more likely to consume more drinks than an adult drinker.
Risk for injuries when teens drink and drive. Teens are more likely to be killed in an alcohol-related crash than anyone else on the roads, according to the CDC. In 2016, 1 out of 5 teens involved in fatal car crashes had been drinking.
Teens can put themselves at risk when they drive drunk, but another danger is when they travel with friends who have consumed alcohol. According to the 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 16.5 percent of high school students had traveled with a driver who had consumed alcohol in the previous month. This is a revealing number, but it gets worse.
Unfortunately, drinking and driving just paves the way for other poor decisions. According to the CDC, nearly 60 percent of the drivers age 15-20 who were killed in car crashes after drinking and driving weren’t wearing seat belts. Nearly a third of all male drivers in this age group were speeding when they crashed and 20 percent had been drinking and driving.
A teen who consumes alcohol, then causes a car accident resulting in injury may face criminal consequences. Parents can also be held liable for personal injuries if the victim pursues a claim against your car insurance policy or a civil lawsuit. For a teen, the experience of injuring another person is hard to recover from. It’s incredibly more painful when they were being reckless, such as operating under the influence of alcohol.
What you can offer your teen is support and guidance. Look for a teen-parent driving contract online for help. Review the agreement with your teen and make sure they know that you will always come pick them up if they need a ride. Also let them know that driving mistakes and accidents do happen. But you can’t support unsafe choices like drinking and driving, which endangers them and others on the road.
Other negative effects of teen drinking. The consequences of underage drinking are very real, even beyond driving. Teens who engage in underage drinking are more likely to suffer from social problems, such as high absentee rates and failing grades, face legal problems such as arrest and experience physical fatigue and hangovers, according to the CDC. They are also more likely to become the victim of a physical or sexual assault. There can also be a long term impact on their physical development.
Tell your child what every adult knows: delaying that first drink can make life’s hard experiences a little more manageable. Make sure they know you are proud of them and that they should feel good about their decision.
Never provide alcohol to your teens. On the same note, it is illegal to provide alcohol to your teen and their friends. If you allow your teen or others to drink in your home and someone is injured as a result, you could face criminal arrest and even jail time under Massachusetts social host liability laws. There are many stories of parents who have allowed this or even supplied the alcohol. Sometimes, parents have thought it is better to keep teens close if they are going to drink. But this is a dangerous thought and you could end up financially responsible for a very painful situation.
Likewise, make sure you know where your teen is going and with whom. It doesn’t help your teen to spend time at a friend’s home where alcohol is readily available or where their parents or older siblings are frequently drinking in the home.
Free Legal Consultation – Boston Car Accident Attorneys
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our lawyers provide aggressive and thorough representation to those injured by the negligence of other drivers across Massachusetts. If you have been injured, learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, contact our Boston car accident lawyers at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
To learn more about our Project KidSafe campaign and our National Teen Driving Safety Week articles, visit www.bwglaw.com/project-kidsafe.
Attorney Marc L. Breakstone was interviewed by NBC Boston as part of its ongoing coverage of the Hi-Way Safety Systems holiday party and the subsequent deaths and injuries. At least three employees are now facing criminal charges, including one in an alleged high-speed drunk driving crash in Pembroke, which killed a teenage girl. A fourth employee was found dead in a Rockland motel in the subsequent hours.
The NBC Boston segment, which aired on January 8, 2020, focused on whether the party hosts may also face criminal charges under the Massachusetts social host law and civil lawsuits. The company reportedly hosted the party.
Breakstone is a Boston personal injury lawyer with over 30 years of experience representing victims of negligence. He said victims may able to file civil lawsuits in these serious cases.
“Key is the issue of control. If I control the service of alcohol in my home, and I have the ability to shut someone off and don’t, I could be liable.”
The Plymouth County District Attorney’s office and police now want to interview each party guest to learn more about the circumstances. In the wake of the crash, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has announced Hi-Way Safety Systems can no longer bid on state contracts. Hi-Way Safety Systems has announced the employee who caused the Pembroke crash which killed a teenage girl and seriously injured another victim has been fired. He has been charged with one count of manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, two counts of operating under the influence causing serious bodily injury and other offenses. He was ordered held without bail in Plymouth District Court.
Watch the NBC Boston segment.
Attorney David W. White was interviewed by Boston 25 News about the potential for social host liability lawsuits following the Hi-Way Safety Systems holiday party and fatal crash in Pembroke, Massachusetts. The driver in that crash is now facing numerous criminal charges related to a teen’s death and injuries to others at the scene, including manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol (OUI).
“Now in Massachusetts, that’s a very hard thing to prove,” he said. “You have to be able to show that the host knew or should have known that the guest was getting intoxicated. And it has to be their alcohol. So if a guest brings his or her own alcohol to the party, then there would not be any social host liability.”
Parts of his interview was broadcast last night and this morning. Follow the news website for ongoing coverage: https://www.boston25news.com/
About Breakstone, White & Gluck – Boston Personal Injury Lawyers
Breakstone, White & Gluck is one of the most respected personal injury law firms in Boston. Learn more about our attorneys and our results for clients. If you have been injured, contact us for a free legal consultation at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
Many of us recall when Massachusetts passed Melanie’s Law to increase penalties for drunk drivers. This was a landmark bill aimed at preventing drunk driving injuries and deaths.
Yet today, when it comes to drunk driving laws, Massachusetts now falls behind some expectations. While ignition interlock devices are mandatory for repeat drunk drivers, they are not required for first-time offenders.
Each year, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) asks Massachusetts lawmakers to extend the requirement to first-time offenders. According to the advocacy organization, 119 people are killed each year in Massachusetts drunk driving crashes and that drunk driving fatalities account for 31 percent of all drunk driving deaths.
In January 2019, Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Karyn Polito included the measure in the administration’s road safety bill. According to the State House News Service, a hearing was held on the bill, but it remains to be seen if we will hear more this year. There was more than one bill filed this year, but no update since the summer.
Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws
Massachusetts lawmakers passed Melanie’s Law in 2005 and this took effect in 2006. Named for the 13-year-old victim of a drunk driver, Melanie’s Law increased penalties for those charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. It also increased jail time in drunk driving accidents resulting in serious injury and death.
Melanie’s Law was the state’s introduction to the ignition interlock device, a small unit designed to detect alcohol on one’s breath. The device is electronically connected to the vehicle’s ignition and won’t allow drivers to operate if they are intoxicated. Over the past 13 years, ignition interlock devices have been installed for more than 17,000 drivers, according to Mass.gov.
According to MADD, ignition interlock devices stopped drivers 31,845 times in Massachusetts between December 1, 2006 and December 1, 2016.
State by State: Ignition Interlock Laws
The national debate over ignition interlock devices dramatically changed in 2013. This is when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released new model guidelines encouraging states to pass requirements mandating use of ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders. States were also urged to establish a minimum period of time for use.
According to the National Conference for State Legislatures, 28 states and the District of Columbia now have mandates for all offenders. These include New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut. The ignition interlock law is slightly different in Maine. Rather than mandating use, first-time offenders are eligible to get their license back earlier (after 30 days) if they keep the ignition interlock installed for the remainder of their sentence.
Like Massachusetts, Rhode Island requires use of ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders, though there are differences in the state laws.
Federal Law: Ignition Interlock
MADD isn’t the only organization pursuing ignition interlock devices. The Chicago Tribune reported a former NHTSA administrator was before Congress this summer, urging members to pass a law mandating automakers build vehicles with passive ignition interlock devices. According to the official, the technology has been available since 2006 and wider use could save up to 7,000 lives each year.
Breakstone, White & Gluck – Boston Car Accident Attorneys
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston car accident lawyers specialize in investigating all types of car accidents, including those caused by drunk drivers. With more than 100 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck has represented numerous drivers who have been struck by intoxicated drivers. In drunk driving claims, the injured person may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. Additional compensation may also be available through other sources, including restaurants, bars and other establishments.
Learn your legal rights. For a free legal consultation, contact us at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
A proposal to expand use of ignition interlock devices for drunk drivers is back before the Massachusetts Legislature.
Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito’s transportation bill includes the proposal to mandate ignition interlocks for first-time convicted drunk drivers. Currently, Massachusetts drivers convicted for the first time may seek hardship licenses allowing them to travel for work and specific purposes. Baker and Polito’s proposal would also put ignition interlock devices in their vehicles for at least six months following conviction. The devices test whether drivers are under the influence and if so, prevents them from starting their vehicle.
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, under M.G.L. c.90 § 24. The limit is .02 for drivers under 21. If police suspect drivers are intoxicated, they can be stopped and given a breathalyzer test. Drivers charged with operating under the influence can face a loss or suspension of their Massachusetts driver’s license and fines. Alcohol education training is a requirement in Massachusetts.
In addition, drivers can be sentenced to serve jail time, which is more common for subsequent offenses or when their actions cause death or serious injury.
As for drivers with more than one drunk driving offense, Massachusetts law does require them to use ignition interlock devices for a period of two years. M.G.L. c.90 § 241/2.
MADD and safety advocates say this is too little. And it falls short of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recommendation, which calls on states to require first-time offenders to use the devices and establish a minimum length of time for use. Twenty nine states have done so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Drunk driving continues to be a serious problem, killing almost 30 people daily across the U.S. (Source: NHTSA). Meanwhile, the state of Massachusetts reports about 150 people are being killed by drunk drivers each year. These drivers have a blood alcohol concentration of .01 and higher. Eighty percent of the deaths were caused by drivers operating with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
Massachusetts Law: Drunk Drivers and Other Responsible Parties in Liquor Liability and Drunk Driving Injury Cases
In Massachusetts, when drunk driving leads to injury, a driver can be convicted of operating under the influence by the criminal courts.
Further, they can be held liable and have to pay monetary damages to the victim or multiple victims. Our Boston car crash attorneys have handled liquor liability cases for injury victims and their families for more than 25 years in Massachusetts. Our attorneys are experienced in investigating these crashes and identifying all the parties who may share responsibility. In addition to drunk drivers, commercial establishments such as bars and restaurants have a responsibility not to serve patrons who are already intoxicated. This area of law is known as dram shop liability.
Individuals also carry responsibility when minors consume alcohol at their homes under social host liability law. When someone provides alcohol to a minor – or their teenager does so – it’s a consequential offense in Massachusetts. A parent can be held liable and have to compensate the injured person or persons. Parents can also face criminal charges leading to fines and jail time.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck
Breakstone, White & Gluck is a Boston law firm specializing in representing individuals injured in car accidents, truck crashes and other collisions caused by negligent and reckless drivers. Our lawyers are experienced in representing drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists injured across Massachusetts, including in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Everett, Lynn, Newton and Waltham.
For a free legal consultation, contact our car accident lawyers at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
The roads were far more dangerous in 2016, with 37,461 people killed in motor vehicle crashes across the U.S. This represents a 5.6 percent increase over 2015. Passenger and motorcyclist deaths reached an 8-year high. More cyclists and pedestrians were killed than in any year since the early 1990s.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released the 2016 figures from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
Pedestrian and Cyclist Injuries
Nationwide, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in 2016, representing a 9 percent increase. This is the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990. That’s right – the highest in nearly 18 years. Cyclists (called pedalcyclists in the NHTSA report) were also in harm’s way. Across the country, 840 cyclists were killed last year. This is the highest number of cyclist deaths since 1991.
Rise in Passenger Deaths
Last year brought the most passenger deaths in the U.S. since 2008. There was a 4.7 percent increase – or 1,075 more lives lost – over 2015. This counts passengers of passenger cars, SUVs, vans and pick-up trucks. Passengers were only wearing seatbelts in 48 percent of car accidents where seat belt status was known, even though 49 of 50 states have seat belt laws. All 50 states have child passenger safety seat laws.
A good reason to wear a seatbelt: nearly 90 percent of victims who survived fatal daytime crashes last year were buckled in. About 84 percent of nighttime crash survivors were wearing seatbelts.
In Massachusetts, the law requires drivers and passengers to wear seat belts. This law is M.G.L. c.90 § 13A.
Failure to wear a seat belt in Massachusetts is an offense with secondary enforcement. Police officers must have another cause to pull your vehicle over, but if they do and you are not wearing a seat belt, you can be fined $25 for each offense and the violation could impact your insurance rate. You can be fined an additional $25 for each passenger under 16 who is not wearing a seat belt. Older passengers will receive their own $25 fine. But more important than fines, if you are not wearing a seatbelt, you really are putting yourself at great risk.
5 Percent Increase in Motorcycle Fatalities
More than 5,280 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle crashes last year, a 5.1 percent increase. Again, this was the highest number of motorcycle deaths since 2008. This report did not include a state-by-state breakdown, but motorcyclist deaths in Massachusetts have been climbing in recent years. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has reported 44 motorcyclists were killed in Massachusetts in 2015. This was an increase from 2014 and accounted for 14 percent of all traffic deaths in Massachusetts.
Alcohol-Impaired Driving: 28 Percent of All Car Accident Deaths
Drunk drivers killed 37,461 people across the country in 2016, a 1.7 increase over 2015. In Massachusetts, 119 people died in crashes caused by drunk drivers in 2016. This was a 9.2 percent increase. Massachusetts was not alone; 38 states and Washington D.C. saw motor vehicle fatalities caused by drunk drivers rise last year. The other 12 states saw a reduction in fatalities.
Drivers of passenger vehicles were most likely to cause fatal drunk driving crashes; 4,250 drunk drivers caused crashes in 2016, up 3 percent from 2015. Drivers of light pick-up trucks caused 2,052 of these deaths. Drivers of light utility trucks, motorcyclists, vans and large trucks accounted for the rest of fatal crashes. Alcohol-impaired drivers of large trucks caused 58 deaths last year.
Distracted Driving Now Causes 9 Percent of All Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths
Distracted driving caused 9.2 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities in the U.S. last year. But the actual number of distracted driving deaths dropped 2.2 percent last year, to 3,450 deaths.
Teens Involved in Fatal Crashes Rise
Drivers age 16 to 20 were involved in 3.6 more fatal crashes in 2016. The actual number of young drivers who died was up .1 percent. But there were 3.6 percent more young drivers, ages 16 to 20, involved in fatal vehicle crashes last year.
About Breakstone, White & Gluck
The Boston car accident lawyers of Breakstone, White & Gluck have over 100 years combined experience representing those who have been injured by negligent or reckless driving. Our attorneys provide aggressive representation and represent those who have been injured by car accidents across Massachusetts, including in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Waltham and Quincy. If you have been injured, contact our firm for a free legal consultation. Call us at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.
A Massachusetts court judgment this week is a tragic reminder of what can happen when teens drink and drive and social host liability laws are ignored.
On Monday, 23-year-old Craig Snow was ordered to pay $1 million each to the parents of Julia Gauthier. In 2010, 19-year-old Gauthier, a freshmen at Salem State College, was killed in a car accident in Lynn when her boyfriend Christopher Maxson rolled the SUV he was driving. She and Maxson had just left a party hosted by Snow, who had provided the alcohol that night. Maxson pled guilty to motor vehicle homicide while driving drunk in December 2010.
Snow was charged criminally under Massachusetts’ social host liability law, but avoided jail time. Gauthier’s family also filed a civil lawsuit against him, resulting in this week’s judgment.
“The question here is reasonableness and you should not furnish so much alcohol to any guest that you have that they leave your house inebriated,” attorney David White said in a television interview this week with FOX 25 News Boston.
White added, “It’s a real strong reminder to parents as the graduation season approaches to take extra care to make sure their children aren’t driving drunk.”
Watch the Fox 25 News Boston interview.
As prom and graduation season begins, parents are asked to speak to their teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Anyone under 21 who drinks or possesses alcohol in Massachusetts can be charged criminally. Anyone who furnishes alcohol to a person under the age of 21 can also be prosecuted. Parents who allow underage drinking in their home may be held financially liable
But many people are unaware of their responsibilities under the Massachusetts social host responsibility law. Anyone who provide alcohol to teens and allow them to consume alcohol in their home may face serious consequences, including imprisonment and fines.
“Safety is the most important point in any conversation about drinking and driving,” said Boston attorney David W. White. “It is particularly important that parents have zero tolerance for underage drinking in their homes, and obviously they must not supply any alcohol to minors. Providing even a small amount of alcohol to an underage drinker may result in a large civil judgment if it contributes to an accident.”
White urged parents to intervene to ensure that prom celebrations do not include alcohol and to make sure that prom season does not result in needless injuries or loss of life.
Teenagers who host underage drinking parties but do not supply alcohol cannot be held liable in Massachusetts for injuries suffered by their guests, the state’s highest court has ruled. The ruling continues to limit liability to social hosts who either serve alcohol or exercise effective control over the supply of alcohol.
The Supreme Judicial Court also released parents or property owners from any liability if they did not know about the drinking or did not provide alcohol.
The case was brought by the family of Rachel Juliano and her parents against Christopher Dunbar and Peter Simpson, then later also his daughter Jessica Simpson. In 2007, Juliano, then 16, and Dunbar, then 19, went to a party at Jessica Simpson’s Wrentham home. The two had brought their own alcohol and consumed it at the gathering. Simpson, then 19, was home alone, and her father was away and unaware of the party.
After a few hours, Dunbar left in his car with Juliano and had a car accident, leaving her with brain damage. Prior to leaving the party, the two had been arguing. Jessica Simpson intervened and proposed she drive the two home.
In its decision, the Supreme Judicial Court said it was “asked to enlarge the scope of social host liability under our common law by extending a duty of care to an underage host who does not supply alcohol to underage guests, but provides a location where they are permitted to consume it. … [W]e decline to do so, and reaffirm that liability attaches only where a social host either serves alcohol or exercises effective control over the supply of alcohol.”
There were two concurring opinions. Three of the justices agreed with the result, but did not agree with the reasoning of the majority in the case. This case has now been remanded to the Superior Court for further proceedings.
Although the Supreme Judicial Court has the authority to define the common law, and to determine the extent of legal duty that one person has to another, the court declined to expand that duty in this case. The Court has been active in recent years. For example, in 2010, the Court changed the common law in snow and ice cases, abrogating the old Massachusetts law that recognized distinctions between natural and unnatural accumulations. Papadopoulos v. Target Corporation, SJC-10529 (July 26, 2010).
The Court also expanded the duty of limousine services which transport customers from party to party where heavy alcohol use is evident; the Court defined a duty to ensure that the drunken passenger had safe passage from the point of pick-up to drop-off at the end of the night. Commerce Insurance Co. v. Ultimate Livery Service, Inc., SJC-10149 (November 26, 2008).
Unfortunately, the Court’s opinion in the Juliano case means that the court will likely not re-examine other areas which are ripe for consideration, such as cases where adults knowingly permit underage drinking, and cases where bars knowingly serve large quantities of alcohol to patrons who by objective measure would be intoxicated, but who did not appear drunk. (For example, a patron may not show signs of intoxication after four or five mixed drinks, but would certainly exceed the state OUI limit of .08.)
Underage drinking and driving under the influence remain serious problems in Massachusetts. There is no pressure from the Supreme Judicial Court to treat these ills. Instead, the Court has left these problems for the legislature to address. Given the fact that the legislature has declined to take any needed action for many years, we can expect injuries and deaths caused by drunken driving to continue unabated.
Click here to read Juliano v. Simpson, (SJC-10843, February 21, 2012).
Click here to read about the Massachusetts social host liability law.