Skip to main content

Your Tewksbury Today

IT'S THE LAW: How Long Will My License Be Suspended In Massachusetts If I Refuse To Take A Breathalyzer Test?

Jan 07, 2021 08:20PM ● By Atty. Paul King

Atty. Paul King

  In Massachusetts, the length of a license suspension varies based on whether a driver has previously been convicted of an OUI or if a breathalyzer was previously refused.  The following are the suspension penalties:

Drivers over the age of 21

  • 0 Prior Offenses: 180-Day Suspension
  • 1 Prior Offense: 3-Year Suspension
  • 2 Prior Offenses: 5-year Suspension
  • 3 or More Prior Offenses: Lifetime Suspension

Drivers between the ages of 18 – 21

  • 0 Prior Offenses: 3 Years Plus 180-Day Suspension
  • 1 Prior Offense: 3 Years Plus 180-Day Suspension
  • 2 Prior Offenses: 5 Years Plus 180-Day Suspension
  • 3 or More Prior Offenses: Lifetime Suspension

If a driver consents to a breathalyzer test and is convicted of OUI, the following license suspensions may be assessed:

  • First OUI Conviction 45 days to 1 year Suspension
  • 1 Prior Conviction Up to 2-Year Suspension
  • 2 Prior Convictions Up to 8-Year Suspension
  • 3 Prior Convictions Up to 10-Year Suspension
  • 4 Prior Convictions Lifetime Suspension

Can I Challenge Breath Test Results?

Even if an individual takes a breathalyzer and blows a BAC over .08%, it may be possible to challenge the results.  Strict laws and guidelines govern the administration of breathalyzers.  If proper testing protocols are not followed, or any other mistakes are made during the testing procedure, I can argue for suppression of the BAC evidence.  If this evidence is inadmissible, it will be much harder for the prosecution to secure a conviction.

Was a Traffic Stop Valid?

Under the Constitution, police need a valid reason for making a traffic stop.  They cannot simply pull over motorists, and then look for possible violations of the law.  When they violate the law and pull over a motorist for a reason that is not legally-justifiable, the motorist (through his or her attorney) is entitled to ask the court to declare all evidence resulting from the stop to be declared inadmissible.  When this happens, usually the prosecution must drop all charges, which could even include breathalyzer evidence.

Prosecutors understand this obligation.

As a result, as part of the defense in an OUI case (or a case involving the refusal to take a breathalyzer test, I will want to carefully understand the reason for a stop to determine whether it may be possible to seek an exclusion of evidence.

Call Me for a Free Consult to Learn Your Options and How I Can Help

When you hire me, I can carefully evaluate the facts of your case and look for testing discrepancies and police report errors that could lead to a dismissal or significant reduction in charges.

Paul M. King is the sole practitioner of the Law Office of Paul M. King, P.C.. Since forming the firm in 2002, Paul’s practice has been focused on provided affordable, dedicated legal representation to clients throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. He can be reached at or by calling 978-851-5145.

Follow us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter at @TewksburyToday Follow us on Instagram at YourTewksburyToday