Should you refuse a breathalyzer test?
While you are within your rights to refuse a breathalyzer test in the state of New York, it may actually be in your best interest to do so. Not taking a breathalyzer is associated with a number of penalties, many of which are just as serious as those imposed on drunk drivers. To this end, you should carefully consider taking a breathalyzer if you are stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI).
According to Business Insider, even those who’ve been drinking should submit to testing, as it might afford their legal team a solid defense that would otherwise be unavailable. In some cases breathalyzers can fail or be administered improperly, which can provide an attorney with a good defense against charges. The only exception is if you are certain your blood alcohol content will be far above the legal limit, in which case you may be hit with an aggravated DUI.
Additionally, most states (including New York) are beholden to implied consent laws. That means that whenever a driver receives his or her license, consent to breathalyzer testing is automatically given. Refusal of testing will bring about similar penalties as an actual conviction, so in most cases submitting to testing is urged.
If you have been drinking, law enforcement can use methods of establishing inebriation that do not involve a breathalyzer. An officer can testify that the scent of an alcoholic beverage was present in the vehicle, or a field sobriety test can be administered at the scene. These methods are just as effective for establishing inebriation in court, so it may be wise to simply undergo testing even if you’ve been drinking.