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DWI Refusal

The laws in New York for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are the strictest in the country. Not only are drivers penalized for driving with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) above .08%, New York law also penalizes drivers with a BAC above .05%.

The crime of driving with a BAC of .08% or above is known as a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in New York. Driving with a BAC between .05% and .079% is a DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired). If the BAC is at .17% or higher then the crime can be charged as Aggravated DWI.

Under New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1194(1), any person who operates a motor vehicle in the state of New York is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test of his breath, blood, urine, or saliva for the purpose of determining the alcoholic or drug content of his blood provided that such test is lawfully request by a law enforcement officer.

If a person refuses to submit to a lawfully requested test, then New York law provides that evidence of the refusal to submit to such chemical tests shall be admissible in any trial, proceeding or hearing.

The fact that a person refused is generally admissible if the prosecutor makes an initial showing that the person was given sufficient warning in clear and unambiguous language of the effect of such refusal and that the person persisted in his refusal. Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1194(2)(f); People v. Anderson, 89 A.D.3d 1161, 932 N.Y.S.2d 561 (3d Dept. 2011).

Evidence of defendant’s refusal to take such tests may then be considered by the judge or jury at trial. In a DWI refusal case, the jury is instructed that even if it finds that the driver refused to take the test, even after being given clear instructions, the evidence is weak and is by itself not sufficient to sustain a conviction.

The jury must decide whether or not such refusal to take the chemical test indicates consciousness of guilt. This evidence alone is not enough to convict the defendant without other substantial evidence of guilt to warrant a conviction of this defendant.

Attorney for DWI Refusal in Manhattan

After an arrest for DWI, the officer will often ask for a breath or blood test. If you refuse, the officer will read the implied consent warning. A refusal after being advised of the implied consent warning can result in both administrative and criminal penalties.

Our attorneys represent clients charge with a variety of offenses under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1194, including DWI cases involving a refusal to submit to testing of the breath or blood in Manhattan and throughout New York City. Contact us to find out more about the hearing to protect your driver’s license.

Penalties for a DWI Refusal Case in Manhattan 

For a first Chemical Test Refusal the following penalties apply:

  • $500 civil penalty ($550 for commercial drivers); 
  • no minimum mandatory jail sentence is required;
  • the mandatory driver license action is a revocation for at least one year or 18 months for commercial drivers.

For a second Chemical Test Refusal within five years of a previous DWI-related charge the following penalties apply:

  • $750 civil penalty; 
  • no minimum mandatory jail sentence is required: 
  • the mandatory driver license action is a revocation for at least 18 months, for a driver under 21 the revocation is for one year or until age 21, and a permanent CDL revocation for commercial drivers.

Under 21 Drunk Driving Refusal to Submit

The mere possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21 is illegal. For this reason, the penalties for drunk driving among young people are enhanced. For a driver under the age of 21 who refuses chemical testing of the breath or blood under New York’s Zero Tolerance Law the following penalties apply:

  • $300 civil penalty and $100 re-application fee; 
  • no minimum mandatory jail sentence is required; 
  • the mandatory driver license action is a revocation for at least one year.

For a driver under the age of 21 with a second refusal the following penalties apply:

  • $750 civil penalty and $100 re-application fee; 
  • no minimum mandatory jail sentence is required; 
  • the mandatory driver license action is a revocation for one year.

Finding a Manhattan DWI Refusal Lawyer

If you were charged with refusing to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Greco Neyland, PC. We represent clients throughout Manhattan and the surrounding areas of New York City. Call us to discuss your case. Call (212) 951-1300 today. 

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Greco Neyland, PC (212) 951-1300

535 5th Ave #2500
New York
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