New York DWI Refusals

New York, like many other states, has a DWI implied consent law which presumes that anyone driving in the state implicitly consents to take a chemical test when asked by police officers. While this sounds cut-and-dry, there are several nuances to the New York implied consent law that all motorists must understand, especially those facing DWI charges.

When police request that you take a sobriety test, the law assumes that you will comply. However, absent a warrant and extenuating circumstances, police officers cannot force you to provide a blood or breath sample. While it may sound like a good idea to decline an officer’s request to take a DWI test, doing so comes with its own set of consequences.

For example, a first-time DWI refusal in New York carries administrative penalties including:

  • A one-year license suspension;
  • A civil penalty of $500; and
  • A $250 “driver responsibility assessment” of $250 per year, for three years.

Additionally, the fact that you refused to provide a test sample can be used against you in a DWI case. For example, consider a recent opinion issued by a state appellate court in a New York DWI case.

In that case, the defendant was charged with four counts of vehicular manslaughter and related charges after he caused an accident resulting in four deaths. Apparently, the defendant was also injured in the accident. Emergency medical responders took the defendant to the hospital, where he was given sedative medication.

Detectives came to the hospital to interview the defendant. They read the defendant his Miranda rights and, while the defendant’s exact statements were not mentioned in the court’s opinion, it appears that he made inculpatory statements to the detectives. The defendant later refused to take a blood test.

Before trial, the defendant sought suppression of his statements to police, and the fact that he refused testing. Specifically, the defendant argued that he made the statements while under the influence of the sedative medication, and was unable to appreciate what was happening when he made the statements. However, the court rejected his claims and he was subsequently convicted. On appeal, the defendant challenged the lower court’s admission of the statements and refusal.

The court ultimately affirmed the lower court’s decision in allowing the evidence. The court explained that the detectives’ testimony about the defendant’s demeanor was credible, and indicated that he understood the rights he was giving up by speaking with detectives.

Have You Been Arrested after Refusing a DWI Test?

If you were recently arrested for a New York DWI offense after refusing chemical testing, contact the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel for immediate assistance. We regularly represent clients facing all types of drunk driving offenses, including those involving refusals. New York DWI crimes carry strict penalties, even for first-time offenders, and it is imperative that you have a dedicated defense attorney by your side to ensure that the arrest has as little impact on your life as possible. To learn more, give the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel a call at (914) 428-7386 to schedule a free consultation today.