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Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test
What will happen if I refuse to take a chemical test. If an individual refuses a chemical test for Blood Alcohol Content or Impairment by Drugs, their license will be suspended at arraignment in court pending a hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Your license could be suspended for one year.

A driver who is under twenty-one years of age who refuses a chemical test under the Zero Tolerance Law faces a one year revocation of their license.

At the Department of Motor Vehicles a hearing will be held to determine if a driver's license should be revoked. A driver has the right to present evidence, testimony and witnesses on their behalf. They are also allowed to be represented by an attorney. In order for the DMV to revoke an individual's license the Hearing Officer must find:

  • Did the Police Officer have reasonable grounds to believe the driver was operating a motor vehicle in violation of any section of 1192 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law known as the DWI Statute;
  • Did the Police Officer make a lawful arrest.
  • Was the driver given sufficient warning, in clear and unequivocal language prior to refusing that his or her license would be suspended and ultimately revoked if he or she refused; and
  • Did the driver actually refuse to take a chemical test.
If the Hearing Officer finds all of the above factors were met by a preponderance of the evidence they will suspend your driver's license. If the Hearing Officer finds one or more of the above factors were not met he can dismiss the case against you and restore your driving privileges.

The penalties and fines for refusing to submit to a chemical test are separate from, and in addition to any and all criminal penalties that stem from a criminal conviction. In fact, an individual is still subject to license suspension and fines even if they are found not guilty or the criminal charges are dismissed.

If you or someone you know is arrested and charged with refusing to submit to a chemical test please contact Richard B. Stafford immediately to protect your rights. He can be reached at (631) 589-7999.