A breathalyzer test is one of the easiest ways for a police officer to determine an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), acquire probable cause, and for the prosecution to have evidence for a DUI conviction. As such, if you are pulled over and you have had an alcoholic beverage to drink, you may be wondering whether or not you should blow into a breathalyzer when asked to do so. The short answer is no– here’s why:
A Breathalyzer Test Is Evidence Against You
One reason why you should not blow into a breathalyzer is because if you are intoxicated, the results from the breathalyzer test can be used against you to arrest and convict you, and these test results are very difficult to get thrown out. (As a note, it is possible to have the results of a breathalyzer test dismissed if it can be proven that the test was faulty in some way.) If you blow into a breathalyzer and the test shows that you are above the legal limit of .08, a DUI conviction is very likely. Further, a faulty breathalyzer may wrongly incriminate you, saying that you have a BAC above the legal limit when it all actuality you do not.
A License Revocation Is Better than a DUI Conviction
Another question that many people have is whether or not they are legally allowed to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test. The answer is yes – you can refuse to take a breathalyzer test, but doing so is against Massachusetts’ implied consent law. The implied consent law stipulates that at the time you acquire your license, you are giving your consent to submit to blood and breath testing. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you will be penalized by a license suspension of 180 days. However, this is much better than being convicted of a DUI, which can more serious and long-term penalties, including – but certainly not limited to – license suspension.
What Happens When You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, the police officer may arrest you and charge you with drunk driving regardless, and you may have to spend the night in jail until charges are formally pressed, you sober up, and you (most likely) are released until your hearing date. While you will still have DUI charges against you, the prosecution will have a much harder time getting a conviction without crucial BAC information. As such, charges against you may be reduced, or in some cases, dropped entirely.
Work with an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney
The best thing that you can do for yourself when you are facing DUI charges in Massachusetts – whether you blew into the breathalyzer or not – is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who has a history of success representing those charged with driving under the influence. At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, our talented lawyer knows what it takes to build a strong defense. Call us today for a free case consultation at 978-397-0011.