Can I refuse to take an alcohol breath test?

Yes, in Massachusetts you can refuse to take a breath test, but refusing to take one does not mean you cannot be arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a drunk driving offense.

Penalties for Refusing to Take an Alcohol Breath Test in Massachusetts

Failed Breath Test lawyerMassachusetts Implied Consent Law states that by simply choosing to drive on a public way in Massachusetts you have agreed to submit to a chemical breath test if a police officer has reasonable cause to suspect you are under the influence of alcohol. As a result, an actual refusal to take a breath test after having impliedly consented to it by choosing to drive on Massachusetts’ roads carries with it sever license penalties. The enactment of Melanie’s Law has significantly increased the amount of time your license will be suspended for a breath test refusal.

If you don’t have a prior drunk driving offense on your record and you refuse to take a breath test from a police officer that has reasonable cause to suspect you are under the influence of alcohol then your license will automatically be suspended for 180 days. A refusal with one prior OUI offenses will result in a loss of license for 3 years and a refusal with two prior convictions will result in a 5 year suspension.

You will have 15 days from the date of the refusal to request an appeal from with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The issues that will be addressed at the hearing are:

  1. Were you arrested?
  2. Did the police officer have reasonable cause to believe that you were under the influence of alcohol? and
  3. Did you actually refuse to submit to the test. If the registry refuses your appeal then will petition the district court where you were charged?

Talk with a Boston Area Drunk Driving Attorney for Free

Were You Involved in an Accident while OUI?

We can help. For a free consultation contact a Boston area  OUI/DWI lawyer with a track record of success you can count on.

The penalties and charges for OUI are different if you have been involved in an accident while operating a vehicle under the influence. You face much more severe consequences such as incarceration in state prison and a felony charge when you are involved in an accident and arrested for OUI. These charges are further enhanced should the accident result in injury or death to another party.

Our knowledgeable and experienced Boston Drunk Driving Attorneys at The Noonan Defense Firm are available to assist clients throughout all of Massachusetts. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our Boston DUI Lawyers to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at 508-584-6955

and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.


Related posts:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Field Sobriety Test
A Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test is one of three main field sobriety tests Massachusetts law enforcement use as a means to detect or measure any ...
What is a breathalyzer test? Are breath tests accurate?
Can you legally refuse to take a breath test? What is a chemical breathalyzer test? Are breath tests accurate? There are many reasons why breath...
Massachusetts OUI, DUI, DWI Penalties
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 Sections 24 and Section 24D explains Massachusetts OUI penalties. In Massachusetts, the law refers to certa...
Misdemeanor & Felony Motor Vehicle Homicide
The major difference between misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide and felony motor vehicle homicide is that in felony motor vehicle homicide the Co...
Child Endangerment While Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
DCF will often get involved in situations where children were passengers in a motor vehicle that was pulled over for OUI. The courts will notify ...
Third, Fourth or Fifth Offense OUI Penalties
The most important decision you can make following an arrest for operating under the influence (OUI) is hiring an experienced lawyer.
OUI and Negligent Operation
Negligent operation of a motor vehicle is different than operating under the influence. However, it is common for a defendant to be charged with ...
Habitual Traffic Offender Suspension
Anyone that is classified as a habitual traffic offender by the registry of motor vehicles will have their license suspended for four years. Her...