Chemical Test Refusal

Suspensions & Hearings

You are entitled to a hearing before the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) within 15 days of a chemical test refusal. There is no provision in the law for any extension of this time period. No letter, phone call, or other communications to the RMV will serve to extend this period beyond (15) fifteen days or to authorize a hearing at any location other than the Boston office of the RMV. These hearings are conducted only at the Boston RMV branch office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on a walk-in basis. At this hearing, you present witnesses, documents, and any other evidence you wish to be considered.

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24, there are only three issues that can be challenged during the chemical test refusal hearing:

  • Did the police officer have reasonable grounds to believe that the operator had been Operating Under the Influence?
  • Was the operator placed under arrest?
  • Did the operator refuse the chemical test?

Appealing a RMV Determination on a Chemical Test Refusal Hearing

According to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24(1)(g)4, upon the determination of a chemical test refusal hearing by the Registry, the customer has the right to appeal that determination within 30 days to the District Court. Refer to the Massachusetts Judicial Branch website for more information.

If the court finds in the operator's favor, the operator must bring a written order or a copy of the Application for Appeal with the Judge's notation at the bottom to an RMV Hearings Officer. This court decision only applies to the Class D driver's license.

A Commercial Driver's License cannot be reinstated based on this court's decision. These motions are filed under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24(1)(f)(1) and the Commercial Driver's License disqualification and applicable process is found in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90F Sections 9 and 12. The latter do not empower the District Court with this discretion and provides no such review or relief

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