How does a Breathalyzer test refusal affect my case?

Many New York residents have to face charges of intoxicated driving at some point during their lives. They likely know how serious these types of offenses are considered and are aware of the potential punishments. They might mistakenly believe that if they do not submit to testing for their blood alcohol content, that it will work in their favor, but that may not be the case. A Breathalyzer test refusal can have significant consequences of which accused persons need to be aware.

Here in New York, refusing a Breathalyzer test can have immediate consequences. It can result in a revocation of one's driver's license for a year. A fine may also be issued in addition to potentially impacting one's car insurance. The fact that a person is driving is typically enough to demonstrate what is known as "implied consent," meaning that a driver consents to blood alcohol testing in exchange for being allowed to drive. Not submitting to such testing means that the driver is surrendering his or her driving privileges, in the eyes of the law.

An accused person may not be immediately arrested after refusing a Breathalyzer, but he or she could see prosecutors use it as evidence during a potential trial. There are also other types of evidence that can be collected and utilized, so refusing BAC testing may not help one's case at all. If a driver has a prior DWI conviction on his or her record, failure to submit to testing could make potential penalties even more harsh.

Though these can serve as guidelines for New York motorists, every case involves a different set of circumstances. More information can be found at Findlaw that may answer questions about a Breathalyzer test refusal. Even with these warnings, anyone in this situation is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty after having an opportunity to present a defense to the charges.

Source: FindLaw, "Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?", , Aug. 24, 2014

Source: FindLaw, "Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?", , Aug. 24, 2014