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What Happens If You Refuse A Breath Test?

Often times our clients, prior to hiring us, were put in a difficult position by a police officer: to submit to a breath test and provide the officer with potential evidence of intoxication, or refuse to take the breath test and face revocation of their licenses.

At the point a person is offered, or requested, to submit to a breath test they have already been through a great ordeal – they have been taken from their vehicle, they have been put through field sobriety tests, and they may have even been forced to take a portable breath test.  Most people at this point are not able to think clearly through their options, even if sober.

What happens if you refuse a breath test?  The law in New York says that your refusal to submit to a breath, or other chemical, test means that your license will automatically suspended for 1 year.

That is the bad news.  The good news is that the refusal to submit to a breath test can make it more difficult, for the prosecutor to convict you and have you subjected to the harsh penalties associated with a DWI.  While the police officer can arrest you for a DWI without a breath test, he or she cannot arrest you for Aggravated DWI unless you take the test.  In some situations, not taking the test can save a person from facing even more serious charges and harsher penalties.

If you do refuse to take the test, you’re entitled to a hearing in front of a DMV Administrative Judge prior to having your license revoked.  We can defend you in those hearings and can delay or prevent revocation in many instances.

If you would like to learn more about this please give me a call at (518) 300-1331.  Ask to speak to me, Eric Schillinger, I am an Albany DWI Defense Attorney.  I promise that you and your case will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity.  The call is completely confidential.