New York takes driving while intoxicated seriously. According to the New York DMV, the minimum first-time DWI penalty is a fine of between $500 and $1000 and up to one year in jail. Also, you can expect a six-month suspension of your license.
Remember that despite the severity of the crime, you still have legal rights, such as the right to refuse a field sobriety test. Continue reading to learn more about the consequences of test refusals in New York.
You can refuse a field sobriety test
You have no obligation to perform a field sobriety test. However, you need to consider the consequences of refusal. When you decline to complete the test, the officer can still arrest you under suspicion of a DWI. If you take the test, it is very likely the arresting officer will use your performance against you in court. Your refusal is admissible in court as evidence, but the evidence is weaker than a failed field sobriety test.
New York has implied consent
Evidentiary breath tests count as the primary evidence during your trial. Everyone who drives in New York State falls under implied consent laws, meaning there are legal consequences for refusal. However, you can refuse a breath test and live with the consequences later. Once placed under arrest, your best option is to contact a lawyer. They can give you advice on whether to refuse the test.
There is no guaranteed outcome when you get pulled over on suspicion of a DWI. However, if you comply with the arresting officer without revealing too much information, your chances of a lesser charge improve.