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Hingham woman faces second drunk driving charge

A Massachusetts woman who had successfully fought a drunk driving charge 10 years ago was recently arrested and is now facing new DUI charges. The Hingham woman was arrested after she had been involved in a car accident. Her car that she was driving collided with a traffic island, shredding one of her tires.

The woman was charged with second-offense drunk driving and negligent driving. At her arraignment, she was ordered to abstain from alcohol and told that she would randomly be tested for alcohol use before her court hearing. Police initially decided to charge the woman with third-offense drunk driving, but had to amend the charge when they discovered that her previous conviction had been overturned.

The woman had been previously arrested in 1997 when her car crashed into another car in Hingham. A blood alcohol test indicated that her blood alcohol content was well above the legal limit. At trial, however, the charges were dismissed due to involuntary intoxication after a neuropsychiatrist testified that the woman had been over-prescribed a medication that caused the car accident.

Under Massachusetts law, drunk drivers can be held financially responsible for any injuries or deaths caused as a result of their impaired driving. People injured by such drivers are entitled to recover medical expenses, lost wages and other expenses in a personal injury lawsuit. If the drunk driving accident causes a death, the family of the decedent can recover damages for funeral expenses, the loss of the decedent's income, and other expenses in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Thankfully neither type of lawsuit was necessary in this case, since no others were injured.

Source: Patriot Ledger, "Hingham Woman who was 'involuntary intoxicated' back in court," Neal Simpson, June 5, 2013

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