New York’s implied consent law

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

If you are arrested for drunk driving in New York, you may be required to take a blood, urine, breath or saliva test. This is because New York has something called "implied consent." Under this law, if you have been lawfully investigated for driving while intoxicated, you inadvertently agree to take a chemical test of your blood, urine, saliva or breath test for a blood-alcohol content (BAC) determination.

The investigating officer can chose the most applicable test. It should be performed within two hours from when you were operating a vehicle. Of course, you may ask to employ additional tests by a medical professional of your choice. However, you can do this only if you first submit to the requested test.

Preliminary tests vs. chemical tests

Before you are even arrested, you could be asked to perform a preliminary, less official test. If the results show that your BAC is above the legal limit, which is .08 percent, then the officer may pursue additional official tests.

Many wonder whether it is worth it to refuse a preliminary breath test. If the officer has other reasons to think you are intoxicated behind the wheel, it will not truly matter. He or she can still arrest you and ultimately initiate a chemical test. If this occurs, you cannot refuse the test without legal repercussions.

Consequences of refusal

If you refuse to take the mandatory chemical test (after the preliminary breath test), you can lose your license for a year. You could also be ordered to other penalties, including a $500 fine for refusing the test.

In most cases, if you refuse to take a mandatory breath, urine or blood test, authorities cannot force you to do so. However, there are exceptions to this rule when there are egregious circumstances, such as an accident involving injury. In the end, however, one can face consequences for refusal in the investigative potion of a drunk driving case. This is separate from the actual drunk driving charges.

Drunk driving charges in New York

As you can see, charges linked to drunk driving in the state can evolve early on in an investigation. The implied consent law diminishes your rights from the moment you drive on state roads.

If you have been charged with drunk driving in the state, it helps to have legal assistance. Many arrests focus on the initial arrest and related Fourth Amendment issues. If the officer did not act in line with the law in the course of the investigation, you may have a case that rolls in your favor. To learn more about the details of your particular case, contact a local drunk driving defense lawyer.