Refusing a DWI Test and Implied Consent in New York

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If I am Arrested for DWI in New York, am I Required to Take a Chemical Test?

Technically, no. If you are arrested and charged with a DWI in New York, you may choose not to take a breath or blood BAC (blood alcohol content) test. However, a refusal to do so will have serious consequences due to New York's implied consent laws.

What is Implied Consent?

New York's implied consent law states that any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state shall be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test of one or more of the following: breath, blood, urine, or saliva, for the purpose of determining the alcoholic and/or drug content of the blood.  Thus, you give consent to a chemical test simply by driving in the state.

What are the Penalties for Refusing to Take a Breath or Blood Test After Being Arrested for DWI?

If you are lawfully arrested for a DWI and refuse to submit to a BAC test, you will be subjected to mandatory civil fines and license suspensions. The penalties for refusing to take a BAC test are in addition to the standard penalties for DWI.  Even if you are acquitted of DWI charges, you will still face these penalties:

It is important to realize that you can be convicted of both a DWI and a Chemical Test Refusal. 

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Have Been Charged With a Chemical Test Refusal?

DWI arrests are serious and can have severe consequences. If you refused a chemical BAC test when arrested, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney who specializes in DWI defense immediately. Your attorney will be able to help you fight any charges and may be able to help you reduce your penalties.

A qualified New York DWI lawyer can provide you more information if there is a legal basis for your case. For more local legal information, please see these pages:

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Last Modified: 09-06-2012 12:30 PM PDT

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