You May Have Only 15 Days to Save Your License

If your driver’s license was suspended due to a chemical test refusal in Massachusetts, you may only have fifteen (15) days to save your license and right to drive. This is because under G.L. c. 90 § 24(1)(f)(1), you only have fifteen calendar days to appeal certain aspects of a breathalyzer refusal. Under the Mass. breathalyzer refusal law, weekends and holidays count towards the 15 day refusal appeal period. Also, breath test refusal suspension can only be appealed to the MassDOT main branch in Boston, Massachusetts. The RMV will not accept refusal appeals at any other location.

Under the Massachusetts Implied Consent Law, if you refuse to take a breath or blood test after you have been arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol, the Registry will administratively suspend your license or right to operate for at least 6 months, up to lifetime, depending on whether you were 21 or older at the time of the refusal and the number of prior OUI convictions. When calculating these suspensions, all prior convictions and alcohol program assignments will count against you, no matter when or where they occurred.

Given the 15 day appeal period and the penalties associated with breathalyzer refusals, you should promptly consult with a lawyer. It is important to challenge chemical test refusal suspensions in Massachusetts because, except in 1st offense cases, a hardship license is not available when a license is suspended due to a chemical test refusal. Also, breathalyzer refusal suspensions must run prior to DUI suspensions. For example, if you are convicted of a 2nd offense OUI and you refused the breath test, you will serve a 3 year CTR suspension prior to the commencement of the 2 year OUI suspension, for a total of 5 years without a license. You cannot be considered for hardship relief until the 3 year CTR suspension expires.