Increasing penalty for second breath test refusal offense
Despite implied consent laws, everyone has the right to refuse chemical testing when stopped on suspicion for DUI. Unfortunately, the fear of looking guilty when refusing a breath test prompts many drivers into supplying authorities with chemical test results that make a DUI defense difficult. While it is true that there are stiff penalties for a breath test refusal, refusing chemical testing may be for the best.
In the state of New York, a driver stopped for DUI may refuse chemical testing. Unfortunately, by refusing a chemical test, drivers face an automatic one-year suspension of their driver’s license. Upon their second and third breath test refusal offense, the license suspension increases to 18 months. While a year and a half suspended may not seem so bad, one catch to these implied consent laws is that under certain circumstances, an individual’s license may be permanently revoked. If you’re charged with a breath test refusal and you’re found to have had two DUIs, two refusals or one of each within the previous four years, your license may be permanently revoked.
Along with the driver’s license suspension for refusal could come heavy fines. These may also increase with consecutive offenses. Fortunately, making a license suspension stick for a breath test refusal hinges heavily on whether or not the attending officer warned the driver about implied consent laws before their refusal.
While refusing to provide authorities with chemical test results may help your attorney better defend against your charges, consecutive offenses may make it more difficult. Working with an experienced DUI defense attorney is always in the best interest of people who wish to reduce or eliminate their charges and protect their record.