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In just about every state, if you are pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you will be subjected to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol limit. In New York, the most common test is a breath test, commonly known as a Breathalyzer. While you can refuse to take the test, New York statutes set rigid consequences for doing so.

New York is an implied consent state. This means that by driving your car, you agree to subject to a chemical test if you are arrested under suspicion for driving while intoxicated. The test must be administered no more than two hours after the arrest, and you can also request to have a separate test conducted by a medical professional — if you submit to the officer’s test.

Due to the implied consent law, there are rather steep punishments for breath test refusal. The first time you refuse, you will lose your license for a year and face a fine up to $500. The second offense, as well as any subsequent refusals, your license is suspended for 18 months and you face fines up to $750. In addition, a judge can order the chemical test if the officer has good cause to have one taken. As such, you could face the refusal punishments and ones associated with a DWI charge.

In the end, it is up to you to decide whether you will refuse a chemical test. It may be beneficial to speak with a criminal law attorney if you are arrested under DWI suspicion, regardless of whether you submit to the test or not.

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