Regardless of where you are, it’s important to know your rights when it comes to Breathalyzer testing. If an officer pulls you over and accuses you of driving while impaired, they may ask you to take a Breathalyzer test. This test checks your blood alcohol content and will identify if you are over the legal limit. This, in addition to other tests, can determine if you’re too impaired to drive safely.
When you accepted your driver’s license, one thing you agreed to was that you gave consent to take a Breathalyzer or chemical test upon request for the purposes of determining your BAC. If you refuse to take that test, then you could face the loss of your license, fines and other penalties.
What happens if you refuse a chemical test in New York?
If you refuse to take a chemical test, such as a Breathalyzer test, then you will be fined $500. This is increased to $550 if you have a commercial driver’s license.
On top of this fine, you will lose your license for a year. If you’re a commercial driver, your license will be revoked for at least 18 months.
For most people, those penalties will apply. However, if the driver is a minor and in violation of the Zero Tolerance law, then they will be fined $300 and have their license revoked for a year.
Additionally, those who have previously refused a chemical test in the last five years will be charged $750. They will lose their license for 18 months or longer if they are over 21. If they are under the age of 21, they’ll lose their license for a year. Commercial drivers will permanently lose their CDL, which will have an immediate impact on their career and income.
All this is to say that it’s usually a bad idea to refuse a Breathalyzer test in most situations. If you aren’t sure what to do during a traffic stop, it’s normally better to submit to the test and challenge the results. Each case is different, so your attorney will have more information on what you should do.