The Breathalyzer is a field sobriety device that tests to check your blood alcohol content (BAC). In New York State, the threshold for an illegal BAC is .08. If your Breathalyzer test comes back .08 or higher, then you are legally intoxicated in and are subject to all of the penalties associated with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Even if your result comes it at just under .08, the officer can still choose to charge you with driving under the influence (DUI), which comes with its own set of penalties.
The Process Of Getting A Breathalyzer Test
In most cases in the state of New York, the officer conducting the traffic stop will first do a field sobriety test and then put the subject on the Breathalyzer. Even if the subject passes the field sobriety test, the officer still has the option to use the Breathalyzer to see if the subject is intoxicated or under the influence.
If the subject is found to be intoxicated, they are arrested for DWI and their vehicle is impounded. There are several different types of penalties that go with a DWI charge, and the penalties get more severe for repeat offenders.
Refusing A Breathalyzer
It is not mandatory under New York State law to take a Breathalyzer test. You can respectfully decline to take the test, but you will have to face the consequences of your decision.
The officer can charge you with DWI on the spot if there is sufficient evidence to suggest you are intoxicated. Some of the indicators can be the smell of alcohol on your breath, the smell of alcohol in your car, or failing the field sobriety test.
If the officer decides to, they can radio in for a warrant that forces you to take the Breathalyzer test. If you refuse the warrant, you will be arrested on the spot.
Should You Refuse To Take A Breathalyzer Test?
The majority of the penalties associated with a DWI charge in the state of New York are automatically applied at your trial. This is not a situation where you attorney can negotiate a lesser charge for you. Refusing a Breathalyzer test could also bring about a resisting arrest charge, which only makes things worse. In the end, if you have been pulled over under suspicion of DWI and you are intoxicated, refusing to take the Breathalyzer test will make your situation worse.
If a police officer mistakenly pulls you over for DWI, then the Breathalyzer test can help to prevent you from going through the hassle of a DWI trial. But in New York State, refusing to take a Breathalyzer test when the officer is convinced you are intoxicated can help to make the entire situation worse. If you are stopped under suspicion of DWI, your best course of action is to submit to the Breathalyzer test and accept the consequences of your actions.