If you have been stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, every aspect of the process is important. This begins with the moment that the police officer approaches your vehicle. If you are asked to provide a breath sample, or take another test designed to elicit your blood alcohol content level, it is certainly within your rights to refuse to do so. If you do, a refusal hearing will be scheduled. You will want a lawyer to represent you at this hearing.
Types of Tests Used Today
Many police departments throughout New York, and indeed the country, use a variety of different machines designed to measure the blood alcohol content level of an individual suspected of drunk driving. The name of the machine is not so important as is its function. Each will use the breath sample from a driver that blows into them. The results of this test can then be used to either charge a person with a DUI or to let them go. As such, it is a rather serious matter and one that should not be approached lightly.
Basis for the Test
There is a stipulation under New York law that is taken to mean that consent to a blood alcohol content level test is given the moment an individual driver begins to operate a vehicle. This includes a test of the person’a breath, urine, blood, or saliva. The purpose of any such test is to determine the precise alcohol content in the blood at the moment. An driver also has the right to refuse such test, but such a refusal does not come without its consequences.
Consequences of BAC Test Refusal
If a driver is stoped for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol refuses to submit to a blood alcohol content level test, his or her driver’s license may be suspended by Criminal Court until a refusal hearing is scheduled. This refusal hearing is scheduled by the Department of Motor Vehicles, and this where a lawyer can definitely be an asset. If the accused driver were to lose the refusal hearing, several things may occur simultaneously.
The first thing that will happen if a refusal hearing is lost is that the driver’s license of the accused will be revoked for a period of one year. It is important to note that this suspension will remain in effect even if the drivers is eventually found to be innocent of the DUI charge itself. Subsequently, the Department of Motor Vehicles has the right to impose a civil find amount to a minimum of $500. These penalties will be tacked onto whatever criminal charges are filed at the time of the arrest.
Issues Covered at a Refusal Hearing
A lawyer will work with accused to prepare for a refusal hearing by first ascertaining a few facts related to the traffic stop. The officer must demonstrate that he or she had responsible grounds to believe that the driver was operating a vehicle under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. A lawful arrest of the driver must also occur. In addition, it is important to determine whether or not the police officer provided the driver with sufficient warning about the consequences of refusing to submit to a blood alcohol content level test. Finally, it is important to ascertain whether or not the driver did actually refuse to submit to the test.
Because of serious nature of a refusal hearing, it is best to have a professional and experienced lawyer on your side. Do not give up your rights. Due process must be followed every step of the way in a DUI arrest. If it is not, you deserve to be heard in a court of a law. If you have been arrested for a DUI and have a refusal hearing scheduled, contact a lawyer right away for assistance.