DALLAS – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has joined with a Massachusetts case to defend the use of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results as evidence against drivers charged with causing serious bodily injury while operating under the influence of alcohol.
The important legal question in the case of Zucchino v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts is whether Massachusetts law requires the BAC evidence to be collected with the consent of a defendant charged with causing serious bodily injury while operating under the influence (OUI) of alcohol, or “aggravated OUI.”
In an amicus brief filed on October 16, MADD calls for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to affirm a trial court’s ruling that allowed the admission of BAC test results conducted without the defendant’s consent because he is charged with an aggravated OUI.
“BAC test results provide crucial evidence for holding drunk drivers accountable and bringing justice to their victims,” said MADD CEO Stacey D. Stewart. “Disallowing BAC results in court because a driver refused the test will only make it more difficult to prosecute impaired drivers and will incentivize them to refuse to be tested.”
In the amicus brief, written by Barbara Smith, George Brell, and Matt Stanford of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, MADD argues that defendants should not be empowered to block the admissibility of the most probative evidence of drunk driving. “Preventing defendants from unilaterally thwarting the prosecution of the most serious OUI offenses protects the vulnerable public (like the victims in this case) from the most dangerous intoxicated drivers. And it sends a message to the public that serious crimes will lead to harsh penalties — penalties that cannot be avoided simply because a defendant withholds his consent to BAC testing.”
MADD engages in strategic amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) litigation in cases that present legal challenges to drunk and drugged driving laws or in cases that present the opportunity to educate courts on the practical implications of how their decisions can further MADD’s mission to eliminate drunk and drug-impaired driving, serve victims of these crimes and prevent underage drinking.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nonprofit leader in a movement to create a world where there are #NoMoreVictims of impaired driving. By working in collaboration with law enforcement to end underage drinking and all drunk and drugged driving, MADD has helped reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50%, saving more than 400,000 lives. The organization is a vocal advocate for tougher sentencing, new laws and new technology, including implementation of the Halt Act. MADD also has provided supportive services to nearly one million victims of drunk and drugged driving at no charge through local victim advocates and its 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. For more information or to make a donation, visit us at https://madd.org/and follow MADD on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Contact: Becky Iannotta, [email protected]