If you are pulled over in Massachusetts for suspicion of drunk driving, you are probably just a little stressed out. There are many things going on in your mind and you may not be thinking straight. To make things worse, the officer will ask if you are willing to take a breathalyzer, and your answer one way or the other can have serious consequences. Hopefully, you are a responsible driver and this scenario will never happen, but it is always good to have all the information possible so you can make the decision that is best for you.
Very Well Mind discusses some of the penalties associated with refusing a sobriety test, whether it is a breathalyzer or other test. Due to implied consent laws, you are required by law to submit to these tests although you also have the right to refuse them. If you refuse in Massachusetts, an immediate consequence is you lose your license for a certain period of time, which remains as a penalty even if it turns out you are not found guilty of a DUI. In some states drivers also face additional jail time and fines.
You may think that submitting to the breathalyzer will hold more consequences because it shows how much alcohol you actually had in your system, but this is not necessarily true. Even without the test guilt can be determined via the officer’s observations, witness statements and dash cams.
Even if you take the breathalyzer, there is always the chance your defense attorney can fight the results. WCVB reports on a case in which breathalyzer test results for thousands of cases were thrown out because the machines were not being maintained properly. While this is not a common occurrence, it may be one way of fighting your case while being able to hold on to your license.