What If You Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test in New York?



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    If you refused a breath test during a traffic stop, please read on, then contact an experienced Garden City, NY DWI | DUI attorney to learn what happens if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test in New York.

    Can you refuse to take a breathalyzer test in New York?

    Under New York State law, driving is considered a privilege and not a right. The state courts have ruled that a person arrested on suspicion of drunk driving must submit to a formal breath test for blood alcohol content (BAC). If you refuse to take the breathalyzer, you will face automatic and severe consequences.

    What are the consequences for refusing to take a breathalyzer test in New York?

    For the purposes of this blog, we will focus on the consequences of a first offense DWI or DUI conviction. That said, you are considered intoxicated if you meet the following conditions:

    • 0.08% BAC and you are 21 years or older
    • 0.04% BAC if you are driving a commercial motor vehicle
    • 0.02% BAC if you are younger than 21

    With that in mind, the penalties are as follows:

    First offense DWI for drivers younger than 21:

    • Suspended license for 6 months
    • A $125 civil penalty
    • A $100 fee for suspension termination
    • Potential enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and associated costs
    • Potential ignition interlock device installation and associated costs

    First offense DWI for drivers younger than 21 and who refused to take a breath test:

    • A $300 civil penalty
    • A revoked license for at least one year
    • $100 to reinstate your license
    • A $250 annual assessment fine for 3 years

    First offense DWI for drivers 21 or older:

    • A revoked license for at least 6 months
    • Possible fines ranging from $500 to $1000
    • Possible jail time up to 1 year
    • Potential enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and applicable costs

    If you are over the age of 21, your license may be revoked for a year to 18 months if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test.

    Whatever your alleged BAC, you should reach out to one of our skilled Nassau County criminal defense attorneys to discuss your next steps.

    How can a Nassau County criminal defense attorney help you?

    Since defendants in the United States are innocent until proven guilty, you may have a reason for hope. Aside from exculpatory factors such as improperly conducted tests and an officer mistaking a medical condition for intoxication, a seasoned legal professional will argue that the arresting officer did not make it clear that your license will be revoked for refusing the test, the police did not measure your BAC or let you contact a lawyer within the legally mandated period of time and the police had no probable cause to stop you. Do not face these charges on your own. Please give us a call today.

    Contact Our Long Island Firm

    Criminal matters can change the course of your life forever. This is why you need an experienced attorney who will aggressively combat your charges to help mitigate their long-term effects. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter on Long Island or throughout New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to assist you.

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