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Massachusetts’ high rate of breath test refusals

When arrested for drunken driving, state motorists refuse a breath test at one of the highest rates in the nation. First-time offenders who refuse the test lose their driver's license for six months, two-time offenders for three years, and four-time offenders for life. But drivers get their license back if they're acquitted, which is made easier because prosecutors can't mention refusals in court.

Breath test refusal rates

National
'05
US rate is
a median

United States

17%

Massachusetts

41%
State
'08 - '10

Boston

54%

Cambridge

44%

Beverly

53%

Lynn

61%

Brockton

67%

US rate is a median

Refusal rates by town, 2008 — 2010

Less than 30%
30% to 40%
40% to 50%
50% or more
No data

Boston

Refusal rate
54%
OUI arrests
954
Refusals
518
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