The case, which hinged on the court’s interpretation of the word “convicted,” only affects drivers whose first drunken driving offense resulted in a plea where they admitted to sufficient facts for a finding of guilty, but did not plead guilty or were not found guilty. Since those cases do not result in convictions, they cannot be counted, the court found.
Melanie’s Law mandates a 3-year license suspension of a driver with a previous drunken driving conviction who refuses to take a breath test.
“If the Legislature, in enacting Melanie’s Law, had wanted to include an admission to sufficient facts in the definition of ‘convicted,’ it could have done so explicitly,” wrote Supreme Judicial Court Justice Margot Botsford.
Read more: http://www.patriotledger.com/news/cops_and_courts/x1986339752/Supreme-Judicial-Court-ruling-weakens-Melanie-s-Law-critics-say#ixzz1vJKbUKTe
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