Last Sunday, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed new budget legislation. Included in the legislature’s budget proposal for 2013 signed by Patrick is a provision that has closed a loophole that would have allowed repeat drunk driving offenders who refused to take a breathalyzer test to receive less serious penalties.
The new measure was in response to a recent Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that held that a ruling of “continuance without a finding” in an OUI case, in which an individual had refused a breathalyzer test, was not to be treated as a conviction that could be counted against an individual in future decisions on license revocation.
If a person arrested for alleged drunk driving refuses a breathalyzer test, their driver’s license is automatically suspended for 180 days. If that person has one or more previous OUI convictions, the suspension is increased to at least 3 years.
The new law states that a ruling of “continuance without a finding” can now be counted among the previous OUI offenses when determining the length of time an individual’s license is to be suspended.
Attorney General Martha Coakley praised the legislation Monday, saying it is an “important public safety measure.”
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