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Consequences of Refusal to take either a Breathalyzer or Blood Alcohol Test

The first step in most Driving While Intoxicated and/or Driving Under the Influence situations is a police officer stopping the automobile and questioning the motorist. The police officer will ask that you produce your license, registration and insurance card. The police officer will also intentionally try to get as close to your face as possible for the purpose of looking into your eyes to see if they are blood shot and smelling your breath to see if it is smells of alcohol.

The Stop by a Police Officer

If the police officer suspects that you have consumed alcoholic beverages, he or she will request that you step out of the car. The police officer may then request that you take “a breathalyzer test”. The breathalyzer is a scientific instrument that determines how much alcohol you have in your system. The breathalyzer makes a determination, based on your sex, size, and weight, of the percentage of alcohol in your blood based on an analysis of your breath.

The Breathalyzer Test

When taking a breathalyzer test, you will be requested to breath very hard into a tube. The tube is connected to the breathalyzer, which then analyzes the percentage of alcohol in your breath. For the breathalyzer to render an accurate reading, it must be appropriately calibrated to deal with your height, size, and weight.

In the State of New York, obtaining a drivers license is considered an implied consent to take either an alcohol or drug test, if requested by a police officer who has probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In New York, you do not have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test. Your failure to take the test, even if you had nothing to drink or consumed no drugs, can lead to the loss of your driver’s license for up to one year.

This loss of your driver’s license is a suspension by the Department of Motor Vehicles based on your refusal to comply with the request to take a breathalyzer test. In the event no criminal charges are brought against you, or the criminal charges brought against you for driving while intoxicated are dismissed, you will still be subject to the one years suspension of your license for failure to comply with the request to take a breathalyzer.

Contact The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo

As an attorney who has handled driving while intoxicated cases for more than 30 years, I always advise my clients that if they have no prior convictions and if there was no car accident related to the driving while intoxicated charge, to take the breathayzer test. However, if an individual has prior convictions for driving while intoxicated within a ten year period, the decision as to whether to take the breathalyzer test or to refuse to take the breathalyzer test is much more complicated. Generally speaking, if an individual has a previous misdemeanor or felony conviction for driving while intoxicated, and/or there has been an accident where an individual has been severely injured or killed, I usually recommend to my clients to refuse to take the breathalyzer test. My reasons for this advice relates to the fact that, if convicted of a second offense, the individual may face a jail sentence. Call us if you have any questions at 1-800-344-6431.

Read our related articles:
Challenging the Reliability of Breathalyzer Test Results
The Prosecutor’s Role in a Drunk Driving Case
New York DWI Lawyers
Frequently Asked Questions about Drunk Driving

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