Tests to see if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Do I have to take them?
Can I Refuse to Take a Drug or Alcohol Test?
If you ever find yourself in a situation where an officer requests you take a drug or alcohol test, you might wonder whether it’s possible to actually refuse. While it’s recommended that you always have a New York City criminal defense lawyer by your side, you can actually decide to refuse any test brought before you. Of course, refusing these tests carries consequences of their own, but the possibility remains. This is because New York has an “implied consent” law, which essentially means that every driver agrees to take any drug or alcohol tests as necessary.
Drug and alcohol tests can actually target a variety of bodily functions, including saliva, urine, blood, and breath. In New York, it is up to the police officer to determine which test a driver must take, if any. In addition, a driver may request that a physician of their choice also conducts a test, so as to dispute any findings that may develop. This is another area where having a DWI lawyer New York City can help, as they can determine when a test has been improperly performed and might need to be challenged.
In terms of consequences for refusing to take a test, the first offense is a simple license revocation for up to one year. After that, the second offense can lead to a suspension for up to 18 months. Finally, if you’ve either refused to take a test or have had a previous DWI conviction within several years, then you can potentially have your license permanently revoked.
It’s worth noting that police officers cannot request you take a test without first establishing probable cause. If a police officer has no reason to suspect that you might be under the influence, then they cannot justifiably ask that you submit to their testing. This is an important distinction and can make the difference in a case. It’s for this reason that you should contact a New York City or Long Island DWI lawyer at the first sign of trouble, so that they can determine what your next step should be and whether the police officers are justified in their demands.
Contact London Indusi LLP for all your DUI and DWI questions and concerns.