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Can I refuse a breath test in Massachusetts?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | DUI/OUI |

If you have ever faced charges for operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI), you may wonder what you can do to protect yourself moving forward.

An OUI conviction may carry serious consequences. For this reason, you should understand what Massachusetts law says about breath tests, the results of refusing them and their admissibility in court.

Can I refuse a breath test in Massachusetts?

You can refuse a breath test if pulled over for OUI suspicion in Massachusetts, but not without penalties. Because Massachusetts is an implied consent state, the state considers your acceptance of a driver’s license as authorization to submit to breath testing. There are varying consequences for refusing to submit to breath testing based on your situation:

  • For the first offense, your license suspension lasts for 180 days
  • Second offenses earn a three-year license suspension
  • Third offenses receive a license suspension of five years
  • Additional refusals may initiate a lifetime license suspension

What is admissible in court?

There are several scenarios when evidence is and is not admissible in court, such as the following:

  • The results of a breath test conducted at a police station or medical facility are admissible in court
  • If you submit to a portable breath test administered by authorities when they pull you over, these test results are inadmissible
  • The court cannot hold it against you if you refuse to take a breath test
  • If authorities fail to notify you of your rights regarding refusal to submit to testing, a license suspension is potentially invalid

When you understand Massachusetts’s OUI laws regarding breath testing, you can make informed decisions to safeguard yourself and your future.