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Do I have to take a Breathalyzer test?

When New York residents first get their driving licenses, they are not likely to know that driving is considered a privilege, not a right. That means these privileges can be revoked and fines can be levied. Additionally, driving privileges can be suspended if a driver refuses to take a Breathalyzer test. This is because drivers have impliedly consented to this test in exchange to drive.

A Breathalyzer is used to determine the blood alcohol content of a suspected drunk driver. If a police officer stops a driver he or she believes has been driving while intoxicated and asks the driver to take a Breathalyzer test, refusal could have serious repercussions. For example, the driver’s license could be suspended for a number of months and even jail time could be given. Consequences vary depending on whether the suspected drunk driver has past DUI convictions or not.

Some states have adopted ‘no-refusal’ DUI enforcement initiatives for when a Breathalyzer is refused. This means they can be forced to submit to BAC testing through a warrant. Technology allows police officers to procure electronic warrants on their phone, so officers no longer have to worry about suspected drunk drivers sobering up before a paper warrant comes through.

Refusing a test to gauge intoxication can have serious legal implications, especially if it is a warrant-ordered one. A second or third DUI conviction can also have a negative effect on a person’s freedom of movement. However, it is important to understand that there are many DUI defenses available to people suspected of drunk driving. An experienced attorney may be able to outline them for those who are facing DUI charges.