Massachusetts Implied Consent Law

Refusing the chemical test, or blood, urine, or breath test in Massachusetts may seem like a good idea when faced with a DUI/OUI. After all, a blood alcohol content (BAC) reading of .08% or higher means that you are presumed intoxicated under Massachusetts law. Many believe that refusing to submit to a chemical test will ensure that this evidence will be kept out of the case and, therefore, make it less likely the Commonwealth will obtain a conviction. While this may be true in some instances, the decision of whether to refuse a breath test is, in most instances, much more complex.

What is the Massachusetts Implied Consent Law?

If you have a driver’s license, you have given your implied consent to chemical testing in the event an officer suspects that you were driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your implied consent is a condition of obtaining your Massachusetts driver’s license.

All fifty states in the United States have implied consent laws for DUI. All fifty states also have consequences for refusing the chemical test. In Massachusetts, consequences for a refusal include:

  • First DUI refusal – 180-day license suspension
  • Second DUI refusal – three-year license suspension
  • Third DUI refusal – five-year license suspension
  • Fourth or more DUI refusal – lifetime license suspension

Individuals who are under 21 years old at the time of being arrested for DUI, face harsher penalties for a first refusal. Penalties include:

  • First DUI refusal – three-year license suspension
  • Second DUI refusal – three-year license suspension
  • Third DUI refusal – five-year license suspension
  • Fourth or more DUI refusal – lifetime license suspension

Should I Refuse the Breath Test?

Sometimes refusing a breath test can be in your best interest. Other times, however, this is not the case. Know that you do have the right to refuse. Whether a breath test refusal is advisable, however, depends on many factors, including the circumstances surrounding the case and whether you’ve been convicted of a prior DUI. One thing is certain, refusing the breath test will result in immediate suspension of your license by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Although you do have the opportunity to contest this administrative license suspension, speaking with an attorney is very important as the appeal of an administrative license suspension can be challenging.

Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Contact the experienced DUI/OUI lawyers at OUI Attorneys to schedule a free initial consultation. Whether you made the decision to submit to the chemical test or you refused, Massachusetts implied consent law can have a substantial impact on your driving privileges and your future. Hiring an attorney can ensure you have someone on your side who understands the law and the court system as well as someone who will fight for your rights.