Can I Refuse a Breath Test in MA?
If you hold a Massachusetts driver’s license, you need to understand that you have already consented to take a breath or blood test if you are ever arrested for an OUI. In other words, it is “implied” that if you have a driver’s license in MA, you automatically provide “consent” to a chemical test.
What Happens If I Refuse a Chemical Test?
Although you are subject to immediate penalties for refusing, you have the right to refuse to take a chemical test after being arrested. By refusing the test, you have invoked your right against self-incrimination. Furthermore, at trial, the prosecutor cannot mention that you refused the test, or infer that you are guilty for doings so.
Nevertheless, according to Melanie’s Law, if you refuse to take a breath or blood test from a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to suspect you are under the influence of alcohol, then your license will be automatically suspended for 180 days. A refusal with one previous OUI offense results in a license suspension of up to three years and a refusal with two previous convictions will result in a five-year license suspension.
You may request a hearing within 15 days of when the officer took your license in order to regain your driving privileges.
Can I Refuse a Preliminary Breath Test?
You do not have to take this test. Preliminary breath tests are used by police officers in order to establish probable cause for an arrest. Since you are not under arrest, implied consent does not apply in this case.