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Breath and Blood Tests in Massachusetts


A law enforcement officer who has reasonable suspicion that a driver is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may request the driver submit to a chemical test. (G.L. c. 90, Section 24). It is not a crime to refuse a chemical breath test.

Chemical tests for operating under the influence in Massachusetts are conducted either by a blood test or a chemical breath test. Any driver that has been issued a license by the Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles is deemed to have consented to that test. Failure to provide that test may result in the suspension or revocation of your license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth.

If you were arrested because of the results of a breath or blood test, then you need to contact Russell Defense Firm right away and retain the trusted legal counsel of Russell Defense Firm's Brighton criminal defense lawyer.


  1. Refuse to complete any exercises for the police. Refusal of field sobriety exercises cannot be held against you in Massachusetts Criminal Court. ; Commonwealth v. Blais, 428 Mass. 294 (1998). 
    Tip: Do not engage in conversation, counting, or answer questions. Those are text book "pre-exit interview techniques" designed to gather evidence against you. If asked to step out of the vehicle state "Upon booking, I want to see my doctor. Am I free to leave?" The words you say when refusing the exercises are not admissible either.
  2. Refuse any Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). Refusal of a PBT is not admissible against you in a criminal case. *Commonwealth v. Brown, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 772 (2013)) or in criminal court (G.L. c. 90, Section 24K)
  3. Upon booking, insist upon an examination by the physician of your own choosing at your own expense. 1. A person held in custody at a police station charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor, shall have the right, at his request and at his own expense, to be examined immediately by a physician selected by him. G.L. c. 263, Section 5A.

    Tip: Do not let the police trick you into completing a breath test prior to booking. Insist upon being booked and then going to the doctor. People in Massachusetts may demand to be examined by the physician of their choosing at their own expense. And such persons may consult with that physician regarding whether or not to provide an evidentiary blood sample and/ or the results of the evaluation to law enforcement. This evaluation is protected by HIPPA and is not in the furtherance of a crime or fraud because the alleged offense has already been completed. At the doctor's office or hospital- tell the police to leave the room. If they refuse to do so- document this politely.


If you — or a loved one — were arrested and now face charges of operating under the influence (OUI), you need to immediately contact Russell Defense Firm and retain trusted legal representation. Adam Russell stands ready to provide outstanding legal counsel to families and individuals who have been charged with drunk driving. He has obtained membership in the National College for DUI Defense, which means that he has specialized education in OUI related cases. The moment you are arrested, you need to contact a Brighton OUI lawyer from Russell Defense Firm right away and schedule a confidential and free case evaluation as soon as possible.

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If you or a loved one has been arrested and booked for a criminal offense, contact Russell Defense Firm right away. The firm is relentless in its defense of clients' rights and freedoms. Adam believes that his approach to addressing problems and working diligently to find solutions can lead to acquittals or significant reductions in charges for your case.

Contact the firm for a free case evaluation if you have questions. The firm serves all of Boston and the communities of Brookline, Newton, Waltham and Wellesley.