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What are the penalties for chemical test refusal in New York?

Despite popular belief, it is not wise or even legal to refuse a chemical test in New York. If a police offer stopped you for drinking and driving in the greater New York area, and if you refused to submit to a breath test, blood test, field sobriety test or all three, the state may charge you with a misdemeanor. However, the consequences of your actions all depend on the number of similar prior offenses for which the state has found you guilty in the past five to 10 years. 

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, your first chemical test refusal may result in a $500 civil fine and license revocation for at least one year. If the state finds you guilty of a second offense within the span of five years, the fine increases to $750. It may revoke your license for one year to 18 months, or until you are 21, if you are not yet of legal drinking age. If you possess a commercial driving license, the state will revoke your CDL for good if it finds you guilty of chemical test refusal for a second time.

If you are under the age of 21 and refuse a chemical test, and if later tests reveal that you had a BAC of between .02 and .07 percent, the state will revoke your license for at least a year. You will also receive a $300 civil fee, as well as be responsible for a $100 re-application fee. The fine increases to $750 if the state finds you guilty of a second chemical test refusal before you turn 21.

The information in this post is for purely educational purposes. It is not meant to serve as legal advice.





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Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C.
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East Aurora, NY 14052

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