New York operates under implied consent laws for driving under the influence of alcohol. When a person receives a driver's license in the state, he or she consents to follow police instructions when on the road. Implied consent means if an officer asks you to conduct a sobriety test, you need to abide.
To pull a car over in the first place, police need to have probable cause. If you drive erratically or drive well above or below the speed limit, then the police can pull you over on suspicion of DUI. From walking in a straight line to blowing into a breathalyzer, police have numerous options. In many cases, refusing to take these tests will do more harm than good.
What happens when you take a field sobriety test?
In the event you did have something to drink before getting behind the wheel, you may worry you will not pass a test. However, even if you fail, it is important to remember that these tests are highly subjective. Walking in a straight line does not definitively show how much alcohol you have in your system and whether you were over the 0.08 percent limit. Your attorney can fight against these field tests more easily in court and potentially reduce or eliminate a jail sentence.
What happens when you refuse a test?
You are under implied consent laws in New York. If you refuse, then the police have probable cause to assume you are under the influence of alcohol. Officers have the right to take away your license and take you down to the police station. At the station, police can conduct a chemical test that more accurately shows how much alcohol is in your system. A chemical test is much more difficult to fight in court, so you are better off with a standard field test. Although the police cannot force you to take a chemical test, you will automatically face a one-year license suspension if you refuse.