What Happens If You Refuse a Blood or Breath Test In New York?
When you are pulled over for suspected driving while impaired or DWAI in Syracuse, New York, the situation can be frustrating and confusing. You might believe that the situation has escalated too quickly and be tempted to refuse taking a blood, saliva, breath, or urine test because you believe it may come out with results that indicate that you were driving while intoxicated.
New York is an implied consent state. This means that if a law enforcement officer has the probable cause to believe that any driver of a vehicle was operating while intoxicated, he or she must submit to a chemical testing of the urine, blood, breath, or saliva to determine the amount of drugs or alcohol in the driver’s body.
This is an agreement that each driver accepts by using a driver’s license in New York to submit to the testing when an officer requests it. Typically, the chemical tests are completed at the local police station after a DWI arrest and the officer has the discretion to determine which test driver should take.
Additional tests can be completed by a doctor at the request of the driver. Submitting to a breath test before your arrest is a requirement of the implied consent laws in New York.
These measure the blood alcohol concentration on a driver’s breath. While it can be challenging for the prosecution to prove DWI in New York without appropriate test results showing your system beyond the established limit, your refusal to take such a test could be used against you in a DWI criminal trial.
The prosecutor can tell the jury or judge that you refused testing, too, so this may even be used to raise concerns about your innocence. Your Syracuse DUI lawyer will work hard to identify all opportunities to protect you from conviction consequences.
Be Aware of the Mandatory Administrative Costs of Refusing the Test
Furthermore, there are serious administrative consequences for your driving ability that will occur whether or not you were ever convicted of DWI. For your first refusal of a BAC test, you will have your license suspended for one year but a second or third refusal could lead to an 18-month license suspension. Furthermore, your license in New York can be permanently revoked if you have refused testing and over past four years have had two DWI convictions, two refusals to take the test or one of each.
Unless the officer first warns you of what your consequences of refusal will be, typically your license cannot be suspended.
However, it is always better to consider the potential administrative consequences and how these could affect your life, your ability to go to work and carry out regular errands. There are also fines associated with drivers who refuse chemical testing in New York. Your first refusal could lead to a fine of up to $500 and if you were previously convicted of a DWI within the last 5 years or if you have refused testing in that same time period, the fine could be $750.
Refusing the test could lead to unexpected consequences if you’re not familiar with the law, but you’ll still need a Syracuse DUI defense lawyer to help you fight off the charges effectively.