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Chemical test refusal penalties in New York

As the last night to enjoy a good time with friends in 2014 draws near, it is important that our readers remember that driving after consuming alcohol is against the law in New York. We recently discussed how New York has a Zero Tolerance law. We have also discussed some of the possible penalties for drinking and driving. Today, we are going to discuss what can happen if you don't take the chemical test when you are requested to do so.

A chemical test is a blood test or breath test that is used to determine if you are driving after drinking. Refusing to take the test has serious consequences that must be considered. Knowing these before you head out to party with friends is vital.

At a minimum, refusing to take a chemical test will get your driver's license revoked for one year. On top of that, there is a $500 civil penalty. People who have a commercial driver's license will face an 18-month minimum revocation.

The penalty increases if you refuse a chemical test within five years of a prior DWI-related charge or refusal to take a chemical test. In that case, an 18-month license revocation is required, as well as a $750 civil fine. If you have a commercial drivers' license, that is revoked permanently.

If you are stopped and suspected of driving drunk, you do have the right to refuse to take a chemical test. It is vital for you to think about the consequences of refusal before you say you won't submit to the test. Getting answers to your questions now might help you to make the best decision for your case if the time comes.

Source: New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, "Penalties for alcohol or drug-related violations" Dec. 22, 2014

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