Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

A skilled criminal defense attorney is needed by anyone facing DUI charges in the Eastern Massachusetts area

Massachusetts implied consent laws consider any driver to have consented to blood alcohol testing by virtue of driving within commonwealth boundaries. Regardless of the potential outcome of testing, refusal can automatically carry penalties that include fines and a loss of license from six months for a first refusal and up to three years for a second, in addition to any other sentences imposed for a DUI conviction.

You need to decide if refusal is worth the penalties

In some cases, police may ask you to submit to field sobriety tests-such as walking a straight line or standing on one foot-to determine if you show signs of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is important to know that you have the right to refuse this testing without concern for any repercussions.

When it comes to refusal of a hand-held breathalyzer test at the scene, you may be able to request that testing be conducted using more reliable equipment at the police station. There may be reasons why you prefer to delay testing, or you may not trust the hand-held equipment. In Massachusetts the results of a hand-held breath device is not admissible in court; however, if you take the test and fail it, the police will have cause to arrest you. You should make a mental note of everything police said to you so you can inform your attorney.

After testing, Framingham criminal defense attorneys can potentially refute the evidence

Blood alcohol testing is a rare example of cases when individuals accused of crimes are required to provide evidence that can be used against them in court. But even if the test results seem to support your guilt, Framingham criminal law attorney John E. DeVito, Esq. can refute that evidence in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Questioning the accuracy of hand-held breathalyzer tests. As discussed above hand-held breathalyzers are not admissible. Attorney DeVito will ensure that such evidence will not be presented during the course of the trial.
  • Questioning the accuracy of any testing equipment. Even equipment typically considered accurate can be poorly calibrated or subject to other errors. The breath test can be challenged particularly if the reading is just above the legal limit.
  • Identifying mitigating circumstances. For some individuals, chewing tobacco or even over-the-counter cold medicine can result in a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit. Expert testimony may be needed to confirm the effect on the blood alcohol level.

Contact John E. DeVito, Esq. today

If you have been charged with a crime, you need qualified criminal defense attorneys working on your behalf. Mr. DeVito represents clients in Boston, Dedham, Wrentham, Stoughton, Quincy, Waltham, Woburn, Newton, Framingham, Natick and other cities in Middlesex & Norfolk County, MA. For immediate assistance, contact Framingham criminal defense lawyer John E. DeVito, Esq. at 508-517-1800 today.