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What happens if you refuse a roadside breath test?

Massachusetts state law is very clear: Drunk driving is a crime. In order to deter drunk driving, the state will not only engage in enforcement in situations where an individual is clearly impaired while driving, but will also occasionally engage in broader enforcement efforts, including roadblocks.

Regardless of why your vehicle was stopped, if an officer has reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence, you will likely be required to perform a breath test. Refusing a roadside sobriety test is also a crime in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and it won't necessarily prevent the law enforcement officers present from charging you with a DUI.

Facing a DUI is intimidating, even if you are a first-time offender. If you have been previously convicted of a DUI offense, you may face even steeper penalties. Sometimes, roadside sobriety tests are wrong. When that happens, you can work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to show how the test was inaccurate.

Common causes for issues with false positives include an error with the machine or early, diagnosed diabetes. If there is an equipment or medical explanation for your false positive, it is better to provide that information to the courts than to simply refuse a roadside test.

Driving implies consent to breath and sobriety tests

Everyone who receives a driver's license agrees to the terms of its issuance. One of those terms is the agreement to allow law enforcement to test your blood or breath if there is reasonable suspicion of your impairment while driving. Legally, it's called implied consent.

By driving on the road, you are accepting the possibility of a test. If you refuse to take the test, your license will be suspended for at least 180 days, sometimes more. The maximum suspension could be for life. The more harsh penalties are likely reserved for those with a history of drunk driving offenses or roadside testing refusals.

An attorney can help if you refused a roadside test

If you refused a roadside sobriety test, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can review the details of your situation and determine the best way forward. Your best hope of a positive outcome will result from partnering with a legal representative.

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