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No Right To Counsel When Deciding Whether To Take The Breathalyzer

In Commonwealth v. Neary-French the Supreme Judicial Court once again held, as it did back in 1989, that there is no right to counsel before a suspected drunk driver decides whether to take a breathalyzer test.” The SJC held that despite the creation of a ‘per se” violation theory in 2003, which allows for a conviction for operating under the influence when there is a breath test reading of 0.08 or higher, the decision to submit to the breath test is not a critical stage of the criminal proceeding that would mandate that the accused be advised of his/her right to counsel.

In light of this ruling, please take the opportunity to review What Should I Do If I am Asked to Take a Breathalyzer in the event that you find yourself in such a situation.

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