The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will review a decision from Judge DeAngelo out of the Worcester District Court holding that field sobriety tests are unreliable when attempting to determine if a driver is under the influence of marijuana. The case was argued once before at the SJC as Judge DeAngelo initially reported the question to the court without making a decision. The SJC remanded it to him for an evidentiary hearing. After that hearing he made the following finding in an extremely well reasoned opinion. As a Massachusetts OUI Lawyer, I expect the SJC will affirm Judge DeAngelo’s decision and hope that this case will be followed nationally by other courts addressing this issue.
Judge DeAngelo questions that the SJC requested that he answered; here is a summary of his findings.
First, he found that there is a correlation between marijuana use and impaired driving. Despite this correlation, he found that there was no credible evidence as to what physical characteristics permit an inference that an individual is impaired while driving. He found 4 physical characteristics common to positive marijuana use.