Breath & Blood Tests: Ensuring Your Rights Are Protected.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you will be charged with operating under the influence if your BAC is .08 percent or greater while being above the age of 21. To test a driver's BAC, the arresting officer will ask you to consent to a blood or breath test. Alcohol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and BAC can be measured by having blood drawn and tested in a professional laboratory. If you consent to a breath test, the officer will have you breathe into a device such as a breathalyzer, which is a portable machine that measures the concentration of alcohol in your breath. You will be charged with an OUI if either test shows a BAC of .08 or greater if you are over the age of 21 or .02 or greater if you are under the age of 21.
Melanie's Law and Refusing a Chemical Test.
The implementation of Melanie's Law in 2005 greatly enhanced the penalties for refusing a chemical test; eliminated the allowance of a temporary 15day license for the driver; and mandates the driver's vehicle be impounded for twelve hours. The officer cannot test your BAC without your consent. You will be penalized for refusing to take a chemical test and your license will immediately be taken, but it will not count as an OUI offense on your record. A driver who refuses to take a chemical test will receive the following suspension, depending on which category he or she belongs to:
Drivers over the Age of 21
- No Prior OUI Offenses: Suspension of 180 days
- One Prior OUI Offense: Suspension of 3 years
- Two Prior OUI Offenses: Suspension of 5 years
- Three or More Prior OUI Offenses: Lifetime suspension
Drivers Ranging in Age from 18 to 21
- No Prior OUI Offenses: 3 years + 180 days
- One Prior OUI Offense: 3 years + 180 days
- Two Prior OUI Offenses: 5 years + 180 days
- Three or More Prior OUI Offenses: Lifetime suspension Drivers Under Age 18
- No Prior OUI Offenses: 3 years + 1 year
- One Prior Offense: 3 years + 1 year
- Two Prior Offenses: 5 years + 1 year
- Three or More Prior Offenses: Lifetime suspension
The additional 180 days of license suspension are intended to get underage drivers to enter an alcohol education program. Underage drivers may be able to have the additional 180 days of suspension waived or have the 1 year of suspension reduced to 180 days if it is their first offense and they complete an approved alcohol education program. If the driver fights the charges and wins, he or she will still be required to complete an alcohol education program before their license can be reinstated.
Call The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard P.C. Today for Your Free Consultation! (413) 731-9995
If you refused a chemical test, you can challenge your suspension before the Registry of Motor Vehicles within 15 days if you can effectively prove before the board that your license should not have been suspended.
Failure to pass a field sobriety or chemical test does not mean you will automatically be convicted. In order to fight against either charge, you will need the representation of a skilled and knowledgeable OUI lawyer. Attorney Joseph Bernard has defended clients against OUI and OUI related offenses for over 19 years and may be able to help you.
When you are charged with operating under the influence or if your license was suspended for refusing a chemical test, your freedoms could be severely limited. Attorney Bernard personally examines each client's case to determine how he can best fight their violations and protect their rights.
When facing such grave penalties, you need a lawyer who will aggressively defend you in court and before the Registry of Motor Vehicles. You need The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard P.C. If you are facing OUI charges because of a failed chemical test, or if you refused a chemical test and your license may have been suspended, contact The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard P .C.