Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Understanding OUIs Involving Property Damage


In June of 2018, a driver in Massachusetts struck a telephone pole with his pickup truck which knocked out power for thousands in the area. In addition to the many people left without power, one family was even left stuck in a vehicle that was located under a downed power line. The driver was subsequently charged with an OUI and operating a vehicle without evidence of insurance. The driver’s blood alcohol content is reported to have been twice the legal limit of .08%.

In Massachusetts, a person who drives while intoxicated can end up facing more than an OUI. In many situations, individuals are also charged with hit and run, which frequently occurs when motorists damage property with their motor vehicle and fail to stop at the scene of the damage. It is understandable that many people fail to stop when these accidents occur. Some people flee the scene after causing property damage out of fear of being charged with an OUI. Other individuals fail to even notice that they have caused property damage. As a result, if you are a motorist facing this charge, one of the best steps that you can take is obtain the assistance of a skilled OUI/ attorney who understands these charges and who can help you create a strong response.

The Penalties Associated with Property Damage

If you cause property damage, you can end up facing serious charges no matter if you are sober or not. If convicted of leaving the scene of property damage, you can be charged a fine of up to $200 as well as a maximum of two years in jail. A person will also experience a license revocation.

To convict you of this offense, the prosecution will be required to prove that:

  • You were the operator of the vehicle at the time the accident occurred

  • The vehicle was operated on a public road or any other place that the public has right of access

  • Your operation of the car caused the collision

  • You knew you had caused the property damage, and

  • You failed to stop to provide contact information to the property owner.

How to Respond if You Cause Property Damage

If you have been drinking and driving and caused property damage as a result, it is critical to know how to respond. You should remember to stay calm, get out of your vehicle, and exchange information with the other driver. Under no means should you attempt to drive away from the scene of the accident.

If you happen to hit property and no one is around, the best idea is to wait to see if the property owner returns. If after several hours pass and no one has shown up, you still should not drive off but should attempt to locate the property owner by going to the closest building where the person might be found. While acknowledging that the accident occurred with the property’s owner, a person should avoid discussing any issues in relation to fault.

Speak with a Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer

When people face charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, they should quickly obtain the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Contact Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law today for help. We will remain committed to fighting for the results you deserve.