Driving while intoxicated is one of the most common criminal offenses in New York. On average, offenders get away with drunk driving approximately 80 times before a police officer catches them.
Law enforcement in the United States arrested more than 25,000 motorists for impaired driving in 2012 alone. In most of these cases, the officers asked the suspect to take a breathalyzer test. The results of this test are often the foundation for the prosecuting authority’s case, but what happens if the driver refuses to take a breathalyzer?
New York is a state of implied consent. This means that drivers consent to sobriety tests every time they start a vehicle. You do, however, have the right to refuse a breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, but this is rarely a good idea.
If you were arrested for driving while intoxicated in New York, then contact Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. As a White Plains criminal attorney, Mr. DeUrso can evaluate your arrest and identify an appropriate defense against your charges. Call 914-772-8614 to discuss your case.
What are the consequences of refusing a breathalyzer test?
A breathalyzer test has two components: a portable breath test and a blood alcohol content test. Nobody can force you to submit to BAC testing, but the consequences of refusing a BAC test can be severe. They include:
Loss or Suspension of Your Driver’s License
The court will order your license to be suspended for a full year if it is the first time that you refuse to submit to BAC testing. A second refusal will come with an 18-month suspension.
In New York, officers do not have to tell people that refusing a BAC test carries steep fines. You will have to pay them regardless of whether you were aware of them or not. The more you refuse, the more expensive these fines are likely to be. For a first offense, you will pay $500. You will pay $750 for a second offense.
Can refusing a breathalyzer work to your advantage?
It is very rare for drivers to benefit from refusing a BAC test. It is important to remember that you will automatically lose your driver’s license if you refuse.
If you comply with BAC testing, then you may still be able to apply for a restricted license, even if you were over the legal limit. You will be able to drive to and from work, as well as complete other essential tasks. However, you cannot apply for a restricted license if you refuse to submit to sobriety testing.
Also, the officer may have evidence of intoxicated driving outside of breathalyzer results. The prosecuting authority may use camera footage and witness accounts.
If you were arrested for driving while intoxicated in White Plains, then call New York DWI attorney Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law at 914-772-8614. Mr. DeUrso has been practicing law for more than 25 years, and he knows how to find success in court.