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breath test refusal Archives

What is implied consent?

When you obtain your Massachusetts driver's license, you may be warned that by completing the process you are now held to Massachusetts’s implied consent laws regarding operating under the influence. But what exactly does that mean, and how does it impact your given right to refuse a breath test?

Can you legally refuse a breath test in Massachusetts?

You may be tempted to try to sneak under the radar when driving under the influence on Massachusetts streets and highways. But when the inevitable happens and you are pulled over by the police for behavior indicative of drunken driving, you may feel, under implied consent standards, as though you have no choice but to submit to the breathalyzer test administered by the attending officer. This, in fact, is not true and you may have options other than taking a standard breath test.

Implied consent and DUI penalties

Drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol in Massachusetts will be asked to partake in a series of tests. One of these is a roadside breathalyzer, which measures the amount of alcohol in the system. Some drivers may think that the tests are voluntary and that there is no penalty for refusing them. However, while people have the right to say no, there are penalties involved due to implied consent.

Pros and cons of taking the breathalyzer

Drivers who have been drinking in Massachusetts and are stopped by the police will be asked to take a roadside breathalyzer test. While it is ultimately the driver's choice whether to take the test or not, there are things to be aware of so the right decision can be made. According to Massachusetts Law, drivers are unable to contact an attorney about the decision beforehand, so knowing the pros and cons is important.

Roadside breath test considerations

A Massachusetts law enforcement officer has several ways to determine whether he or she has probable cause to arrest someone for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. One of these is the breath test, and according to Business Insider, refusing to take this test may not be the best option, even if the driver has had a few drinks. In fact, taking the test may provide a better opportunity for a defense strategy in court.

Consequences for refusing a breathalyzer test

When people get pulled over or are otherwise contained by law enforcement for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, they will usually be asked to take a breathalyzer test. While they have the right to refuse to take this test, they may face consequences of doing this. According to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, an officer may impound the vehicle and immediately suspend the driver’s license if a person refuses to submit to the test.

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