With the New Year approaching, it’s important to understand what may happen if you drive while intoxicated. More than 40 percent of accidents on New Years in 2016 were due to drunk driving, making it one of the deadliest days to drive. In Massachusetts, if you are arrested for drunk driving, it means the officer had reasonable cause to believe you were intoxicated. This is typically followed by a test to measure your blood alcohol level, which you are required to take. You may refuse the test, however, that comes with certain implications.
Fines and License Suspension
If you refuse to take a blood or breath test, you will receive an immediate penalty: a fine and an automatic suspension of your license. The length of the suspension will be contingent on whether or not it is your first offence. For first-time offenders with no prior drunk driving convictions, your license will be suspended for 180 days. For second-time offenders, it is three years. For third-time offenders, it is five years. Drivers who have more than three offences will have their license removed permanently.
Recourse for License Suspension
If your license is taken by a police officer and you are told your driving privileges are suspended, you do have a method of recourse. Within 15 days of the incident, you may request a hearing. At this hearing, you will have the opportunity to prove that either:
- The officer had no real reasonable cause to arrest you in the first place,
- You were not arrested, or
- You consented to the test.
Refusal to Take Blood Alcohol Tests in MA and Drunk Driving Convictions
Though some people believe that refusing to take a blood alcohol test means they cannot be convicted, this is not the case. Some prosecutors may even argue that you refused to take a test because you knew you would fail. It’s important to understand that other conditions can be used to prove your guilt.
Legal Assistance for Drunk Driving Cases
If you are accused of drunk driving, there can be serious legal implications. This is especially true if you were involved in an accident that resulted in personal injury to others. Refusal to take a blood alcohol test could make your case more complex. To best protect your interests, hire a local attorney experienced with drunk driving cases.
If you are in need of an attorney for your case, contact John Tramontozzi for a free consultation.