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What happens if you refuse a Breathalyzer test in New York? 

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2023 | DWI

If there is one question that comes up any time you are pulled over for a DUI check, it is whether you can refuse to take the chemical test. Also known as the Breathalyzer test, this test is meant to determine a motorist’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level. 

It might seem like a violation of your rights, especially when you are asked to take the test in the absence of your legal counsel. But whereas you can refuse to take the test, doing so is almost universally never a good idea. 

Refusing the Breathalyzer test has consequences

Refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test almost always creates the suspicion that you are hiding something. Otherwise, the logic goes, you would take and pass the test and carry on with your journey. Refusing the Breathalyzer test also sets you up for additional consequences. 

New York, like the other states, applies something known as the implied consent doctrine. Basically, this means that by signing up to drive on the state’s roads, you are giving law enforcement implicit consent to pull you over and administer a chemical test if they have reason to believe that you are driving under influence. 

You will pay a fine of $500 if you refuse to take the Breathalyzer test in New York. Additionally, your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year. A second refusal within five years will attract a fine of $750 as well as a suspension of your driver’s license for up to 18 months. 

Protecting your rights

Being accused of drunk driving or refusing the Breathalyzer test is a big deal. However, knowing your legal options can help you protect your rights and obtain a favorable outcome for your case following a DUI charge.