The Office of Alcohol Testing of the Massachusetts State Police has just reported that Drager Alcotest 9510 breathalyzers, which are in use throughout Massachusetts, have electronically transmitted breathalyzer refusal reports to the Registry of Motor Vehicles with inadequate information.
These breathalyzer refusal reports are missing a statement that the report was prepared by the “refusal officer” and an indication that the breathalyzer refusal report was prepared under the penalties of perjury. In order for the resulting chemical test refusal suspension to be valid, the refusal report must contain these two items. The Massachusetts breathalyzer refusal law mandates that the report be signed and sworn by the breath test operator and that it be submitted under the penalties and pains of perjury. If any one of these two requirements are missing, the breathalyzer refusal report and resulting license suspension should be invalidated as a matter of law.
The Registry imposes chemical test refusal suspensions which range in length from 180 days up to lifetime. If the RMV has suspended your license due to a chemical test refusal, you should review the “Report of Chemical Test Refusal” to see if the “REPORT PREPARED BY REFUSAL OFFICER?” question is answered as “Y” and the “UNDER PENALTIES OF PERJURY?” is also answered as “Y.”
You only have 15 days to appeal your breathalyzer refusal suspension, so you should check this promptly. If the required information is missing from your “Report of Chemical Test Refusal,” you should contact a lawyer to appeal the refusal suspension. This can only be done at the Haymarket RMV Branch, which is located at 136 Blackstone Street in Boston, Massachusetts. Refusal appeals can only be filed during regular business hours on normal business days. Contact a lawyer if you are interested in challenging your breathalyzer refusal suspension.