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Motorists in Rockland County who are stopped by law enforcement on suspicion of driving while intoxicated will usually be asked to submit to a chemical test to measure their blood alcohol content level. A commonly used method is a breath test in which the person blows into a Breathalyzer, or other testing device that analyzes a breath sample.

Although the request to submit to chemical testing might appear to offer a motorist the option of refusing, there are penalties associated with declining a breath test refusal. These penalties may include suspension or revocation of an individual's license to drive a motor vehicle and a civil or administrative fine regardless of the outcome of any drunk driving charges that might have been filed against the driver as a result of the encounter with the police.

Every motorist in New York is considered to have given consent to a chemical test merely by getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and driving within the state. Implied consent means that, in exchange for being given the right to drive, a motorist consents to a lawful request from a police officer to submit to a chemical test. 

If a motorist refuses to allow his or her blood alcohol content level to be measured, in addition to the administrative penalties of civil fines and loss of driving privileges that can result from the refusal, the law allows a judge to order that a driver be tested.

Police or prosecutors have the authority to request a court order that allows them to force a person in custody for DWI to submit to a BAC level chemical test.

The decision to submit to or refuse a chemical test is an important one that can have serious consequences and legal implications. This posting is offered as an overview of the topic, but it is not intended to be relied upon or offered as legal advice. A person in need of information and legal advice about implied consent should consult with an attorney who is knowledgeable in criminal law.

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