Maine Legal Group Logo
Main Office
Satellite Office
Consultations by Appointment Only

OUI Case Focuses on What Consent Means

Empty shot glasses, a glass of water and a set of car keys, representing how one can benefit from calling a Portland criminal defense lawyer.

If you get pulled over and arrested for operating under the influence (OUI) in Maine, you’ll probably get brought to the police station for additional testing. Police want to get as much evidence against you as possible, so they’ll try to get a blood alcohol content (BAC) reading from a breath or blood test at the station, in addition to whatever breathalyzer or field sobriety testing you took on the road.

However, just like any other search for evidence of a crime, the police have to comply with the Fourth Amendment. This prohibits any searches that are “unreasonable.” When they don’t have a warrant to get you to take a BAC test, though, police have to make their search fit into one of the warrant exceptions. One of these exceptions is when you consent to the search.

However, a new case from the Supreme Court of Maine changes what it means to “consent” to a search in the OUI context.

Consenting to an OUI Test

The case, Maine v. Boyd, was handed down on March 2, 2017.

In the case, Robert Boyd was pulled over and arrested for OUI after failing a field sobriety test. However, when the police officer brought Mr. Boyd to the police station, the breath testing machine malfunctioned. When Mr. Boyd was brought to another station, he kept coughing. Because this could invalidate the BAC reading, the police officer found a paramedic to do a blood test, instead.

The officer, however, never asked Mr. Boyd for his consent. He also never told Mr. Boyd of the consequences of refusing the blood test or that he could request a physician to do the blood draw, and never tried to get a warrant.

Mr. Boyd didn’t object to the blood draw. However, while he cooperated with the blood testing, he also never said that it was okay.

The case went to the Supreme Court of Maine, which decided that Mr. Boyd’s “acquiescence” was not “consent.” Because it was up to the prosecutor in the case to show that the search for evidence was permissible because Mr. Boyd had consented to it, this meant that the evidence from the blood test got thrown away. Without this evidence the prosecutor’s case was doomed.

Maine OUI-Defense Attorney William T. Bly

As we’ll go over in our next blog post, the repercussions of this case are not as extreme as they might seem: Police will just be extra sure that they get your consent before starting a BAC test, in the future.

However, this case is important in that it goes to show how the Fourth Amendment protects you from overzealous police and law enforcement. Your rights are crucial to defend, because letting police walk over them can lead to a criminal conviction that can change your life.

The best way to protect your rights is to hire the most dependable criminal defense and OUI-defense attorney you can find. Contact the law office of William T. Bly online or at (207) 571-8146.


Contact our office to speak with
one of our team members who will set up a confidential consultation to discuss your case.


Great group of people. Managed to get me a favorable outcome from a very bad situation. I would highly recommend this firm if you have legal troubles. Top notch performance!!

Dave Allen

So thankful I chose this team to represent me. They’re the best, hands down. Nathan Hitchcock proved my innocence not once but TWICE, including a trial by jury. I have a family in law enforcement who told me “Bill Bly and his team are the best. If I would recommend anyone, it would be them.”

Brandon Albert





Ready to Get Started? Get In Touch With Us Today!

If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys.

Get to Know Our Group
Maine Legal Group

We are a boutique law firm, and we stand out by prioritizing our clients’ well-being. At The Maine Legal Group, our experienced team offers personalized attention in both criminal defense and divorce cases.

The Maine Criminal Defense Group

The Maine Criminal Defense Group adeptly handles all areas of criminal defense practice, including experienced and skilled legal representation for state and federal charges.

The Maine Divorce Group

The Maine Divorce Group empowers individuals skillfully navigating divorce with compassionate guidance, ensuring a brighter future through the challenges of the process.