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Should you refuse a breath test after one drink?

Some people believe that it's wise to refuse a breath test if you've had one drink and you get pulled over. For example, maybe you didn't stop completely at a stop sign, an officer pulled you over, and then you tripped on a rock while doing roadside tests, making you appear intoxicated.

The reasoning behind the refusal for some people that a breath test can sometimes be triggered as a positive if it's not calibrated properly. Others have said that the police may ask you to blow into it multiple times, which may trigger a positive result.

The thing you must consider about refusing the test after just a single drink, though, is that New York has an implied consent law. This means that all drivers have given their consent to a test just by getting behind the wheel. If you then refuse the test, your license can be suspended. This can be done even if you are 100 percent sober.

The other part of the equation is that one drink is unlikely to register as 0.08 or higher in terms of Blood Alcohol Concentration. There are many different factors to consider, such as your age, weight, the time you spent drinking, and the amount of alcohol in the drink you consumed, but a single drink is typically well below the limit. If you just had a beer with dinner, for example, you're probably not going to register as being over the limit, so is it really worth it to refuse the test and get a license suspension automatically?

Before drinking or driving, make sure you know how all related laws work, including the implied consent law.

Source: Adequate Man, "Is Refusing A Breathalyzer Test Ever Smart?," Dan Ralls, accessed Aug. 03, 2016

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