Important: At this time chemical test refusal hearings are only held at the Boston/Haymarket RMV due to Covid-19 restrictions.
When you are pulled over for suspicion of operating under the influence (OUI), the officer will generally request that you submit to a chemical test.
The most common form of chemical test is known as a breathalyzer—which tests your blood alcohol level—but a blood test also falls under this category.
Some people, out of fear of being charged with a DUI will refuse the breathalyzer test. What most people do not know is that refusing a chemical test can often be more severe than being charged with drunk driving, massively affecting their lives well into the future.
Read on to learn more about the consequences of refusing a chemical test and how you can appeal with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Immediate Consequences of a Refusal
Refusing to undergo a chemical test, breathalyzer or blood, often has immediate and dire consequences far outweighing those of an OUI charge.
First and foremost, your license or permit will be automatically revoked, and you will be given written documentation of this fact.
Secondly, your car will be impounded for 12 hours.
Finally, the chemical test refusal and suspension of your licenses will be reported to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) within 24 hours of the incident.
However, the consequences of your chemical test refusal do not stop at these initial penalties.
Long Term Consequences of a Refusal
The consequences of a blood or breathalyzer test refusal escalate depending on how many past OUIs you have been convicted of and the severity of the circumstances.
For example, the shortest suspension length for a refusal is 180 days. Strikingly, the max sentence you can receive is a lifetime suspension.
As you can see, a breathalyzer test refusal is extremely serious, which means you should contact a qualified lawyer to review the possibility of appealing your suspension.
The Appeal Process in Massachusetts
The appeal process in Massachusetts for a chemical test refusal is both time sensitive and restricted in its scope.
A refusal is not a criminal charge, therefore your appeal will take place before the RMV and or appeal to the court if you lose your appeal.
Your appeal must also happen within a 15 day period following your refusal.
If you miss this window, your suspension will be automatically upheld.
Finally, there are only 3 areas that may be addressed during your appeal:
- There were no grounds for you to be pulled over for a DUI.
- No arrest happened.
- You did not actually refuse the chemical test.
If you think you have grounds for an appeal, you should consider consulting a defense attorney about the circumstances of your case.
Schedule a Consultation with a Local Expert RMV Lawyer
If you have been pulled over for an OUI and refused to comply with a request for a blood or breathalyzer test, the consequences can be severe and long lasting.
At the very least you will have to deal with a short-term license suspension, and you could end up losing your license completely.
To avoid the very serious results of a refusal, you need to consult with Defense Attorney Gregory Oberhauser who has experience challenging breathalyzer tests.
The experts at Oberhauser Law have knowledge in every area of Massachusetts OUI law, including chemical tests refusals, and can help you with your case.