Burke Levy, P.C.

OUI and DWI questions: Should you take a breath test?

Being stopped by a Massachusetts police officer can be stressful and nerve wracking. You may believe that things will go easier the more compliant you are, but that may not always be the case. While you should always be courteous and non-confrontational, you do not have to comply with every request an officer makes. For instance, if you are suspected of OUI and DWI, you do not necessarily need to submit to a breath test.

It may help you to know that you have the right to refuse to take a breath test, but when you got your driver's license, you also consented to take one if asked by a Massachusetts law enforcement officer. Confused yet? Put simply, you will probably end up with a license suspension for not consenting to a breath test. However, it may be in your best interest not to submit to one.

Without the breath test, establishing probable cause to arrest you is more difficult. In turn, prosecuting you for OUI or DWI will also be more of a challenge. Besides, your license would more than likely be suspended if you are convicted, but you also face other criminal penalties such as fines and possible incarceration.

Ultimately, you must make the choice whether to submit to a breath test if you are suspected of drunk driving. At least you will understand the consequences of refusing -- and of submitting to -- the test. Either way, it would be in your best interest to contact an OUI and DUI attorney quickly. It may still be possible to keep you from losing your license at all and from minimizing or eliminating the possibility of criminal penalties as well.

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