Mass. Senate closes drunken driving loophole
BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts state senators have voted to close a loophole in the state's drunken driving law so that cases continued without a finding are now counted as a conviction.
The state's highest court recently ruled that people who admit to sufficient facts but are not technically convicted of drunken driving cannot be considered first-time offenders under "Melanie's Law," named for a 13-year-old Marshfield girl struck and killed by a repeat drunken driver in 2003.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that motorists who admit there's enough evidence for a drunken driving conviction but aren't technically convicted are not subject to certain increased penalties.
The Senate voted 37-0 late Wednesday to close the loophole.