If you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving in Massachusetts, it is important you understand the repercussions you could be facing. Since the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has an implied consent law, when you apply for and receive a driver’s license, you are agreeing to be subjected to blood alcohol tests if you are stopped and a law enforcement officer believes you are impaired or under the influence from drugs or alcohol.
OUI/DUI and License Suspension
There are two ways to have your license suspended because of an OUI charge. First, if you refuse to submit to a breath test, your license will be automatically suspended for at least 180 days. Because of implied consent rules, if you refuse, you pay a steep price.
When you take a breathalyzer test, you are running the risk of failing the test. If you take a breathalyzer test and your blood alcohol level comes back at .08 or more, your license will be suspended immediately for 30 days if you are over the age of 21 and have not had a prior OUI conviction.
One thing that is important for you to be aware of is that a suspension for failing a breathalyzer test applies even before any OUI conviction. You should discuss this with a drunk driving attorney in Massachusetts because you could be facing an additional suspension if you are found guilty or admit to sufficient facts.
Regaining Your Right to Drive While the Case is Pending
Whether you refused to submit to a breath test or you failed a breath test after being stopped for drunk driving, Massachusetts law gives you the right to request a hearing with the RMV to have your driving rights restored. However, this is a time sensitive. Your attorney can help you with this process, since you have the right to be represented by an attorney. This hearing must be requested within 10 days of your license being suspended.
You can also reinstate your license while the case is pending when the administrative suspension expires. Upon expiration or the hearing, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will require a reinstatement fee.
After Charges and Trial
Even if your license was restored during the pendency of the case, you will lose your license again if you are found guilty at trial. The length of suspension will depend on the facts of the case as well as your prior criminal record and history. During the pendency of the case, your license could be restored after an administrative hearing or if the length of the suspension ends.
If you have been stopped on suspicion of drunk driving in Massachusetts, you will have to make a decision about whether to submit to a breath test at the police station or barracks. If you are facing an operating under the influence charge in Massachusetts, contact our law offices for assistance by telephone at (508) 795-1601 or by filling out the simple contact form on our website.