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White Plains Second Chemical Test Refusal Lawyer

NY Chemical Test Refusal Attorneys

When you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer who suspects that you have ingested alcohol or drugs prior to driving, the officer will generally attempt to conduct a DWI investigation. The investigation begins with the stop, during which the officer will ask you whether you have been drinking or using drugs. While the officer hopes to obtain incriminating answers, the questions also provide an opportunity for the officer to note bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, the odor of alcohol on your breath, slurred speech, and impaired coordination. Based on these indicators and observations of your driving prior to the stop, the officer typically will ask you to take a roadside breath test and to submit to non-standardized field sobriety tests (FSTs) or a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST).

Roadside DWI Investigation: Just Say No!

If you are in this situation, it is important to understand that you are not legally obligated to answer questions about your alcohol or drug use, to take a roadside breath test, or to submit to the SFSTs. Because the officer uses these screening approaches to build probable cause for an arrest, you have little incentive to participate. Drivers might elect to cooperate if they have not taken any drugs or consumed any alcohol because it can prevent the inconvenience and embarrassment of an arrest. However, there is little to be gained by submitting to these intoxication-screening methods if you have used a drug (including prescription drugs that impact driving ability) or alcohol.

Formal Chemical Testing of Breath, Blood, or Urine

While motorists can feel pretty comfortable refusing to participate in these other forms of intoxication screening, the situation becomes far more complicated once you are arrested for suspicion of DWI. The officer frequently will transport you to the police station where you will be asked to submit to formal breath testing. The officer also has the option of taking you to a medical facility for blood testing. In the event that the officer believes you are under the influence of drugs, the officer will ask you to submit to blood or urine testing.

Unfortunately, you are not free to decline to take a formal chemical test of breath, blood, or urine without adverse consequences. If you refuse to take a chemical test, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year for a first offense. You will also be subject to a $500 civil fine. Further, you will not be eligible for a conditional license, so you will be unable to drive for a year unless you prevail while challenging the police officer at a DMV administrative hearing.

If you have been convicted of DWI-related offense during the previous five-year period or you have a prior refusal during that time, you will face loss of your driving privileges for no less than 18 months and the payment of a civil penalty of $750. The penalties for a second chemical test refusal are even steeper for certain drivers. If you have a commercial driver’s license, the license will be permanently revoked if you have a second breath test refusal or a prior DWI-related conviction. Drivers under the age of 21 can have their driver’s license revoked until they turn 21, depending on their age at the time of the offense.

Defending Your Driving Privileges at the DMV Hearing

If you refused to submit to chemical testing, our experienced DWI attorneys at Greco Neyland can represent you at the DMV hearing. We will subpoena the police officer’s report and review other relevant documents to identify potential defenses. The officer may only lawfully request that you submit to chemical testing if the stop was legally justified and the officer had reasonable suspicion that you were impaired by an intoxicating substance. If the officer had insufficient legal basis for the stop, this might provide a basis to keep your driver’s license. Similarly, the officer might be wrong in his or her determination that your conduct constituted a refusal. We examine both of these options when fighting for our clients’ driving privileges.

At Greco Neyland PC, our White Plains DWI attorneys represent clients in White Plains and the surrounding areas who are facing the suspension of their driving privileges for refusing a chemical test and all other alcohol-related offenses. We offer a free consultation, so you should contact us today at (914) 358-9146 or click here to schedule your initial case evaluation.