Are Breathalyzer results admissible in court in Massachusetts?

| May 4, 2020 | Field Sobriety Tests |

If you’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the officer will take a variety of steps to determine if they should arrest you. In addition to field sobriety tests, they may request that you submit to a Breathalyzer test.

For a period of time a couple years ago, Breathalyzer test results were not admissible in court in Massachusetts. However, in July 2019, this all changed when the state’s lab received national accreditation. Now, breath test results can be used as evidence in drunk driving cases.

But that’s not everything you need to know. Here are a few other points of consideration:

  • The legal blood alcohol content limit in Massachusetts is 0.08%: Even if you only consume one or two drinks, you could fail a Breathalyzer test.
  • You have the legal right to refuse a Breathalyzer test: You are under no obligation to submit to a breath test if you’re pulled over for suspicion of DUI. However, if you neglect to do so, it will result in the mandatory loss of your Massachusetts driver’s license. This is something to strongly consider, as a loss of license will impact your life in many ways, such as your ability to commute to and from work or school.
  • Your refusal will not impact your trial: Even though refusing a Breathalyzer test will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license, the prosecution cannot use it against you in court.

If you’re over the age of 21, this is the type of license suspension you can expect if you refuse to consent to a Breathalyzer test:

  • No previous DUI offense: 180 days
  • One prior offense: Three years
  • Two prior offenses: Five years
  • Three or more prior offenses: Lifetime suspension of your license

All of this information should help you better understand your legal rights and the steps you can take to protect them.

If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, it’s critical to implement a defense strategy to help protect your legal rights. With such severe consequences, you must take every step you can to reduce the impact on your life.