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Refusing a chemical test during a DWI stop

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2022 | Dwi

If the police pull you over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, they will ask you to submit to a chemical test, which they use to confirm whether or not you are under the influence.

In New York, officers decide whether to test blood, saliva or urine.

Can police force you to take a chemical test?

A common question people have is whether or not they can refuse to take a chemical test. New York follows the implied consent law, which requires drivers to take the test, but no one can force it on them. While it typically takes place at the police station following the arrest, drivers have the right to schedule their own testing by a physician. However, they will still need to take the type of test chosen by the officer.

What are the consequences of refusing a chemical test?

Regardless of the implied consent law, you can still refuse chemical testing, which could make attempts to prove a DWI more difficult. However, there are consequences of refusing chemical testing, regardless of the outcome of the DWI case.

In New York, you could receive a one-year suspension of your license on your first refusal. A second refusal could result in a license suspension of 18 months if your arrest occurs within five years of your first refusal or DWI conviction. The third time you refuse, the punishment is the same as your second refusal.

Refusing to take a chemical test does not help avoid an arrest. However, it is important to remember that an arrest does not equal a conviction.