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What Happens If You Refuse a Breathalyzer in New York? October 17, 2019

Walden, Orange
What Happens If You Refuse a Breathalyzer in New York?, Walden, New York

A breathalyzer test gauges a driver's blood alcohol content, and findings of .08% or higher form the basis of most drunk driving charges. When you receive a driver's license in New York State, you essentially agree to comply with the state's implied consent laws, including being chemically tested if you're suspected of driving under the influence. But does a person always have to submit to a breathalyzer? The guide below discusses why a person would refuse a breathalyzer and how a DWI lawyer can help.

Reasons for Refusal

There are many reasons why a driver might decline to take a breathalyzer test. Drivers with certain medical issues, like breathing trouble or respiratory disorders, may not be able to give a test because it would compromise their already-weakened lung capacity. DWI stops where the officer does not follow proper protocol, like not giving clear directions on using the breathalyzer or not allowing the driver to call an attorney, may also discourage a driver from consenting to the test. Always discuss with your DWI lawyer why you refused the test so they can build the strongest defense possible.

Possible Outcomes

DWI lawyerDespite the implied consent you give when receiving a driver's license, you still have the right to refuse a breathalyzer. However, there are consequences for your refusal. New York State will automatically suspend your license for one year. For a second or third refusal within a five-year timeframe, the state will suspend your license for 18 months. If you refuse testing and, within the prior four years, have had two refusals, two DWIs, or one of each, your license will be permanently revoked.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Working with a DWI lawyer will strengthen your case, and it may improve the chances of a favorable outcome—whether you submitted to a breathalyzer or not. An attorney understands DWI law, and they will launch their own investigation into the arrest. They might choose to question the testing procedures used and the findings of law enforcement. Reasonable doubt is all it takes to get charges reduced or dismissed. They also may be able to negotiate with prosecutors to get you a lighter penalty.



The help of a DWI lawyer will ensure your rights are protected. Ozman Law Offices represents clients throughout the Orange County, NY, area. Attorney Brandon Ozman and his team offer legal services in DWIs, family law cases, and personal injury claims. Call (845) 778-7777 to schedule an appointment or visit them online to browse their services. 

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