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Why you should not avoid breathalyzer tests in New York

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2020 | DUI/DWI

It is now common to find drunk driving checkpoints on the roads of New York. According to the Wall Street Journal, about 30 percent of all the car accidents that occurred in 2018 had relations to alcohol. Even with a 3.6% drop from 2017, there has not been a significant change in the number of fatalities in the last decade. The state of New York employs several measures in a bid to curb this constant menace, such as giving fines to drivers that they find to be driving while under the influence. But how are they able to identify if a driver is driving on the road while drunk?

Findlaw explains that the police make use of a breathalyzer to test the blood alcohol level of the driver. The blood alcohol concentration limit (BAC) in New York is 0.08 percent. Therefore, if the police catch a driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent and above, they may charge him with driving while intoxicated. But, can a driver refuse to take a breathalyzer test?

Failure to take a breathalyzer test can lead to severe consequences to the driver. The driver risks receiving an automatic license suspension of one year and paying a fine of $500. However, not taking a breathalyzer does not mean that a driver can escape a driving while intoxicated charge. The court also considers evidence such as witness testimony and the officer’s observation.

The license suspension and the fine remains even if the driver becomes acquitted from the charge. When the driver goes to trial for a DWI charge, the refusal may be used against them, indicating that they may be guilty of the crime.