Mass. Gov. closes drunk driving loophole

BOSTON—Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed new legislation closing a loophole that would have allowed repeat drunk driving offenders who refused to take a breathalyzer test to receive less serious penalties.

Patrick signed the measure Sunday. It was attached to the legislature’s budget proposal for the new fiscal year.

The new law would allow refusing a breathalyzer test to be treated as a conviction if an individual receives a ruling of “continuance without a finding” in court. The law previously allowed individuals to avoid having their refusal of the test counted against them in future decisions on license revocation.

Attorney General Martha Coakley praised the legislation Monday, saying it is an “important public safety measure.”