After getting arrested for a DWI in New York, law enforcement will ask you to take a breath or blood test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If you refuse, however, you will face serious penalties based on the state’s “implied consent” laws.
What Is New York's Implied Consent Law?
According to New York’s implied consent law, any individual who drives a vehicle in the state provides consent to a chemical test to calculate the amount of alcohol and/or drugs in their bloodstream. In order words, having a New York driver’s license means you automatically consent to a post-arrest chemical test. While you technically can still refuse a chemical test, doing so will carry serious consequences.
The following are the penalties for refusing a chemical test in New York:
- First refusal – Driver’s license suspension for up to one year and a maximum $500 fine
- First refusal for an underage driver (under 21 years old) – Driver’s license suspension for up to one year and a maximum $125 fine
- Second refusal or DWI conviction within five years – Driver’s license suspension for up to 18 months and a maximum $750 fine
- Third refusal or two DWI convictions within four years – Permanent revocation of your driver’s license
Remember, the officer must warn you about the consequences of refusing a chemical test in order to suspend your driver’s license. Although the police cannot force you to take a chemical test, if your DWI arrest involves an accident where another person suffered injuries or died, you cannot refuse a chemical test.
When it comes to preliminary breath tests before a driver’s arrest, the implied consent rules do not apply. These breathalyzer tests are used to gather more evidence against you to establish probable cause to make a DWI arrest. Still, you can be arrested if you refuse this breath test.
If you have been charged with a DWI in Albany, contact O’Brien & Wood PLLC today at (518) 240-9992 and request a free case review.