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If you are stopped by a police officer in New York on suspicion of DWI, the officer may administer a field sobriety test to determine if you are exhibiting signs of being intoxicated or operating under the influence. Failing to properly perform the tests will usually result in an arrest.

The police officer may also ask you to submit to a chemical test to measure your blood alcohol content. A BAC of .08 percent is the legal threshold in New York for intoxication, and the test results can be offered as evidence against you if your case goes to trial.

The decision whether to submit to the chemical test or not is one that you should consider carefully. New York is an "implied consent" state, which means that if you decline to submit to the test then you may face a license suspension based on that refusal alone.

If you do refuse to take the test, then the implied consent law offers you only a limited period of time, not more than 14 days after receiving your notice of license suspension for such refusal, for you to formally request a refusal hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

As the refusal to comply with New York's implied consent law can result in a separate criminal charge aside from a DWI charge, a refusal hearing is also separate from the criminal court case involving the DUI charge.

The refusal hearing is an administrative hearing at the DMV in which the police officer who made the arrest must testify to the fact that you were asked to take the test and refused, and that you understood what was being asked of you. Also, that the police officer advised you of the consequences of not taking the test.

If all of these items are proven, the administrative law judge at the hearing will revoke your license for at least one year and impose a civil fine of $500.

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