Mass. Breathalyzer Refusals
Under the Massachusetts Implied Consent Law, G.L. c. 90 § 24(1)(f)(1), the Registry will suspend your license for a period of 6 months up to life, if you refuse a breath test after being arrested for DUI. If you are convicted of drunk driving, the Registry will “stack” your DUI suspension against your chemical test refusal suspension. This means that you will first serve the breathalyzer refusal suspension and then the DUI suspension. In other words, the suspensions run consecutively and not concurrently.
If you are a first offender, over 21 years of age, and you refuse a breath or blood test after being arrested for OUI, the Registry will automatically suspend your license for 180 days. This suspension starts as of the date of refusal and runs for 6 months. If you are convicted of DUI, that suspension will run after the 180 day administrative breathalyzer refusal suspension.
If you are under 21 years old and you have 1 prior DUI conviction at the time of your refusal, the Mass. RMV will suspend your license for 3 years for the refusal. If you are convicted of a 2<sup>nd</sup> offense DUI, you will have a 2 year suspension which will commence after you serve the 3 year CTR suspension.
Those with 2 prior DUI convictions who refuse to take a breath or blood test in Massachusetts will lose their licenses for 5 years for the chemical test refusal and, if convicted of a 3<sup>rd</sup> offense OUI, they will have an additional 8 year revocation which will start after the 5 year refusal suspension is served, for a total of 13 years with no license.
Those unfortunate people who refuse a chemical test after having been previously convicted of drunk driving 3 times will have their licenses revoked for life, with no possibility of ever getting a hardship license.
As a general rule, hardship relief is not available during a breathalyzer refusal suspension. However, exceptions are made for first offenders and some second offenders whose first offense was committed more than 10 years prior to the second offense.
In Massachusetts, chemical test refusal suspensions must be appealed to the Registry at 630 Washington Street in Boston, Massachusetts, during normal business hours, within fifteen (15) days of the suspension date.
If you are currently dealing with a breathalyzer refusal suspension in Massachusetts, contact Attorney Brian E. Simoneau for a free review of your situation and consultation.