Penalties for Breathalyzer Refusal under 21

Drivers who are under 21 faced enhanced penalties for operating a motor vehicle while consuming alcohol.  One of the areas where the penalty is increased if you are under 21, is for chemical test refusals.  Usually, but not always, chemical tests are breath tests.

First, if you are under 21 and your breath tests registers .06 or higher you will be charged with OUI.  You face additional suspensions if you take the breath test and it registers .02 or higher, even if you are not ‘legally drunk’.

If you are UNDER 18, you face a one year license loss for refusing a chemical test, if you have no prior record of an OUI conviction.

If you are UNDER 18 and have two prior OUI convictions AND refuse the a chemical test, then your license will be suspended for 18 months.

If you are UNDER 18 you also face an additional 1 year suspension of your license for refusing a chemical test, simply because you are under 18.  This additional 1 year suspension can be reduced to 180 days if you voluntarily enter into and complete a Youth Alcohol Program that is recognized by the Department of Public Health.  (This additional year is not affected at all by the outcome of your criminal case – even if you are found not guilty.)

If you refuse a chemical test and are convicted of OUI, you will receive a license suspension of an additional 210 days.

A breath test or other form of chemical test is evidence that will be used against you by the police and prosecutors.  You don’t have to take it or any field sobriety tests offered by the police.

Should you or shouldn’t you take the Breathalyzer?  Have you taken a Breathalyzer and now need legal help?  Are you at the police station and being offered a breath or other chemical test? Have you refused a Breathalyzer and need advice?  Call me at 866-981-7888 or email me for a consultation.  Phone calls are accepted 24 hours a day!

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