License effects for breathalyzer refusal

 In a previous post I talked about the breathalyzer process, but how does your license actually get suspended. Remember the more you understand the process, the better you will be able to protect yourself.

During the DUI booking process the police will ask if you want to take a breathalyzer. Then the police will show you a form. On the form you can sign that you want to accept the breathalyzer or you choose to refuse the breathalyzer. Not signing the breathalyzer form is considered a refusal. Asking for a lawyer prior to signing the breathalyzer form is considered a refusal. Failing to properly administering breath samples during a breathalyzer test could be considered a refusal. Agreeing to give breathalyzer samples and later refusing  to give breathalyzer samples is also considered a refusal.

First DUI offense. Okay, so say if this is the first time you were ever arrested for suspicion of DUI. You decide not to the breathalyzer, what happens to your license? Well if you decide to refuse the breathalyzer and this if your first DUI, your license will be suspended for 180 days. If you are under the age of 21 and you refuse a breathalyzer, your license will be suspended for 3 years.

Second offense DUI. The analysis for a second offense DUI gets trickier for the purpose of license suspension for breathalyzer refusal. If it is your second DUI offense and you refuse the breathalyzer, your license will be suspended for 3 years for the most part. However, there are different situations that can change the amount of time your license is suspended. If a person was charged with DUI with serious bodily injury for their first DUI offense and then charged with an DUI second offense, then their license will be suspended for 10 years. If a person was charged with DUI manslaughter by motor vehicle, or vehicle homicide, then their license will be suspended for life.

Third DUI offense. If you have two DUIs on your record already and refuse a breathalyzer then your license will be suspended for five years.

Fourth DUI offense. If you have three prior DUIs on your record and refuse a breathalyzer, then your license will suspended for life.

That is a basic summary of license suspension, but the actual analysis is more complicated. It is not uncommon that the DMV or the police incorrectly categorize the refusal. There may also be different ways for you to get license relief. DUIs are serious and you should talk to an attorney right away if you have refused a breathalyzer.

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Check out the following sites for more information: Registry of Motor Vehicles

For more information: visit or contact me at 508-808-8902

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One CommentLeave a comment

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