Commonwealth v. Lyseth

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtBRALEY
Citation146 N.E. 18,250 Mass. 555
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH v. LYSETH.
Decision Date10 January 1925

250 Mass. 555
146 N.E. 18

COMMONWEALTH
v.
LYSETH.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex.

Jan. 10, 1925.


Exceptions from Superior Court, Middlesex County; W. H. Whiting, Judge.

Earl O. Lyseth was convicted of operating an automobile while under influence of intoxicating liquor, and he excepts. Exceptions overruled.

1. Highways k186-Proof that defendant was drunk not essential to conviction.

In prosecution under G. L. c. 90, s 24, for operating automobile while under influence of intoxicating liquor, it was not necessary to prove that defendant was drunk.

2. Highways k186-Statute prohibiting drunken automobile driving held penal.

G. L. c. 90, s 24, prohibiting operation of automobiles while under influence of intoxicating liquor, is penal and regulatory.

3. Highways k186-Whether drunken driver exercised due care to avoid injury to others was immaterial.

In prosecution under G. L. c. 90, s 24, for operating automobile while under influence of intoxicating liquor, it was immaterial whether defendant exercised due care to avoid injury to other travelers.

[250 Mass. 557]A. K. Reading, Dist. Atty., and Chas. E. Lawrence, Asst. Dist. Atty., both of Boston, for the Commonwealth.

G. W. Pearson and F. H. Pearson, both of Lowell, for defendant.


BRALEY, J.

The defendant having been tried and convicted on a complaint under G. L. c. 90, § 24, for operating an automobile while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, contends, that the trial judge erroneously refused to give the following requests as framed:

‘The defendant cannot be found guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor unless the jury find that he was actually driving in a manner different from the way he would have driven had he taken no intoxicating liquor.’

‘If the defendant's manner of driving his motor vehicle under the [250 Mass. 558]circumstances of this case was that of a sober, careful man, he cannot be found guilty * * * of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor.’

The only statement in the record as to the testimony is, that in addition to other evidence there was evidence that the defendant when seen by the witnesses at the place of the accident within half an hour thereafter, was under the influence of intoxicating liquor. We accordingly assume the jury could find, that the charge in the complaint had been proved.

By G. L. c. 90, § 24:

‘Whoever upon any way operates a motor vehicle * * * while under the influence of...

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29 practice notes
  • Com. v. Cass
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 16 Agosto 1984
    ...22, 160 N.E. 305 (1928) ("operate"); Commonwealth v. Clarke, 254 Mass. 566, 150 N.E. 829 (1926) ("operate"); Commonwealth v. Lyseth, 250 Mass. 555, 146 N.E. 18 (1925) ("under the influence"); Commonwealth v. Henry, 229 Mass. 19, 118 N.E. 224 (1917) ("operate"); [392 Mass. 803] Commonwealth ......
  • Thompson v. State, 1563
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 10 Diciembre 1929
    ...this case will show that it is sufficient to prove defendant's intoxication; Hart v. State, 26 Ga.App. 64, 105 S.E. 383; Com. v. Lyseth, 250 Mass. 555, 146 N.E. 18; State v. Hayden, 126 Kan. 799, 271 P. 291; Daniels v. State, 155 Tenn. 549, 296 S.W. 20; Lockhart v. State, 108 Tex. Cr. 597, ......
  • Commonwealth v. Bohigian, SJC-12858
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 13 Noviembre 2020
    ...to include imprisonment for at least two weeks but not to exceed two years, maximum fine of $200, or both); Commonwealth v. Lyseth, 250 Mass. 555, 558, 146 N.E. 18 (1925) (interpreting statute punishing driving 157 N.E.3d 76 "while under the influence of intoxicating liquor" in accordance w......
  • Commonwealth v. Gorman
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 2 Noviembre 1934
    ...he was intoxicated or in a drunken condition, but merely that he was under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Commonwealth v. Lyseth, 250 Mass. 555, 558, 146 N. E. 18;State v. Rodgers, 91 N. J. Law, 212, 215, 102 A. 433. But even that milder degree of alcoholic effect is likely to make a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • Com. v. Cass
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 16 Agosto 1984
    ...22, 160 N.E. 305 (1928) ("operate"); Commonwealth v. Clarke, 254 Mass. 566, 150 N.E. 829 (1926) ("operate"); Commonwealth v. Lyseth, 250 Mass. 555, 146 N.E. 18 (1925) ("under the influence"); Commonwealth v. Henry, 229 Mass. 19, 118 N.E. 224 (1917) ("operate"); [392 Mass. 803] Commonwealth ......
  • Thompson v. State, 1563
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • 10 Diciembre 1929
    ...this case will show that it is sufficient to prove defendant's intoxication; Hart v. State, 26 Ga.App. 64, 105 S.E. 383; Com. v. Lyseth, 250 Mass. 555, 146 N.E. 18; State v. Hayden, 126 Kan. 799, 271 P. 291; Daniels v. State, 155 Tenn. 549, 296 S.W. 20; Lockhart v. State, 108 Tex. Cr. 597, ......
  • Commonwealth v. Bohigian, SJC-12858
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 13 Noviembre 2020
    ...to include imprisonment for at least two weeks but not to exceed two years, maximum fine of $200, or both); Commonwealth v. Lyseth, 250 Mass. 555, 558, 146 N.E. 18 (1925) (interpreting statute punishing driving 157 N.E.3d 76 "while under the influence of intoxicating liquor" in accordance w......
  • Commonwealth v. Gorman
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • 2 Noviembre 1934
    ...he was intoxicated or in a drunken condition, but merely that he was under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Commonwealth v. Lyseth, 250 Mass. 555, 558, 146 N. E. 18;State v. Rodgers, 91 N. J. Law, 212, 215, 102 A. 433. But even that milder degree of alcoholic effect is likely to make a......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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