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What Happens If I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in New York?

What Happens If I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in New York?

Refusing a breathalyzer test might seem like a good option to some. Some see it as an effort to avoid having more evidence against them when they go to trial. In fact, some people might even advise you to refuse the breathalyzer test if you’re not confident you can pass it. But sometimes it’s easier to defend yourself against a breathalyzer result than it is to not take one, especially in New York. That’s because New York has a policy called implied consent. If you drive on New York roads, you’re consenting to a test. Refusing that test can lead to stiff penalties.

Hefty Fines

Refusing a breathalyzer test also comes along with hefty fines in New York. The first time you refuse a breathalyzer test, you’ll have to pay a minimum of $500. The second time you’ll have to pay $750. You may also be subjected to additional fines, as well, depending on the circumstances of your case. Paying those fines, which you have to do, is also pleading guilty to refusing the test. That can cause a lot more problems than it solves. It’s not just the fines you have to worry about, either. License suspension or revocation can come about from refusing a test. In fact, New York has a mandatory minimum length of suspension for refusing.

License Suspension or Revocation

If you refuse a breathalyzer test in New York for the first time, you’ll have to face a mandatory minimum of one year without your license. The second time, you’ll face 18 months without your license. It can be a longer period of time if there are other circumstances that play into the charge, as well. For instance, if reckless driving or other charges are also occurring at the same time, you could wind up with an even longer suspension sentence or face total revocation of your license.

Difficult to Defend Yourself

It can be difficult for an attorney to defend you if you refused to take the test. It’s even more difficult to defend the refusal if other drug, alcohol, and similar issues are in play. You may limit evidence against you in one sense, but you also remove the ability to bring in other forms of evidence, as well. Automatic bias against you because of your refusal is also a strong possibility. Even though legally your refusal can’t be seen as admission of guilt, it’s often the case that you’ll be seen that way anyhow. You can’t legislate people’s opinions, and jurors are more likely to assume you’re covering something up if you refused the test than if you took it and failed it.

What Should You Do If You’re Arrested or Charged?

If you’re pulled over for drunk driving, it’s almost always advisable to take the test. Gather as much information as you can at the time. Go through the process and get an attorney when you’re able. An experienced attorney will be able to look at the case from a legal point of view and find ways to defend your case. Provide the attorney with all the information you can. Let them help you through the process, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s a lot easier to defend a DUI charge than it is to defend a BAC refusal.

At Ticket Void, we’ve worked for years with drivers just like you. We help pair you with a qualified attorney in your area who is vetted and capable of helping you with your specific case. By entering just a few pieces of information about your case, we can find and email you the information of an attorney near you who is best suited to help you with your case. The initial consultation is free, so what do you have to lose? Get started today, and exercise your right to fight.


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