Alcohol and drug license suspensions

On Behalf of | May 17, 2022 | Blog, Criminal Law

Massachusetts drivers can face suspension for refusing a breath or chemical test when arrested for OUI. This is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly.

What happens if you refuse a breath test?

The blood alcohol concentration or BAC limit is .08. Implied consent laws mean that all drivers consent to tests if driving while intoxicated and can be arrested for operating under the influence. If you’re 21 or older and refuse a test, your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked.

What happens if you refuse a chemical test?

After an OUI arrest and refusal to take an initial breath test, you’ll be asked to take a chemical test to check your BAC. If you refuse, the arresting police officer will immediately confiscate your driver’s license or learner’s permit, meaning you will not be allowed to drive.

You will receive a notification of the license suspension or revocation and will not be provided a temporary license to drive after refusing to submit to a test. Your vehicle may also be impounded for 12 hours.

Your license is suspended for 180 days for a first OUI offense. If you have any prior offenses, however, the suspension will last longer. For one prior conviction, the suspension lasts for one year. For two, the suspension is five years. For three or more prior OUIs, your driver’s license will be permanently revoked.

Can you appeal a license suspension?

If your driver’s license is suspended, you can appeal that decision. You must do so at the Registry of Motor Vehicles within 15 days to have a hearing. However, you can only challenge the decision if the police officer lacked reasonable cause, did not actually arrest you or if you didn’t refuse to take a breath or chemical test.