I am asking your readers to help support some soon-to-be-proposed legislation which Rep. Cleon Turner is preparing to file. The legislation will allow the use of a refusal to take the breathalyzer test to be admissible in both civil and criminal cases in Massachusetts.
At this point in time, juries hearing an OUI case are not permitted to know that the "alleged" drunk driver refused breathalyzer testing. Many such jurors wrongly assume that no test was offered, or, if it was, the defendant passed the test. Information of a denial for such testing can only come into play after the guilt or innocence of the driver has been determined.
As the parent of a daughter killed by an "alleged" drunk driver who refused a breathalyzer, I am asking as many voters as possible in Massachusetts to contact their legislators to ask that they sign onto the legislation. Also, please watch for any announcements that the bill will be sent to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary for a public hearing. Voters and supporters will be welcome to go to the state house to testify on behalf of passage of the legislation. That will be some time away. It is very possible that this legislation will also have some significant opposition.
Mary Jane Laferriere
Little Compton, RI