Breathalyzer Testing in New York
When a driver is pulled over under suspicion of DUI in New York, there are several steps that are generally followed by the police in order to complete the investigation and, if necessary, the arrest for this charge. The first requirement that must be met is that the officer must have reasonable probable cause to suspect that someone has been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but since this is a subjective standard, that issue is difficult to contest should the matter proceed to trial.
Assuming that probable cause has been properly established, the investigation proceeds to the step of field sobriety testing. This is most often accomplished by measuring the driver’s breath, and this process is commonly known as breathalyzer testing. The breathalyzer is basically a mechanical machine that has a tube that’s inserted into the driver’s mouth, and when the driver exhales into the tube, the resulting BAC is measured.
New York law states that the police officer is entitled to administer such a test when a suspect is in custody, as is stated below:
b. Field testing. Every person operating a motor vehicle which has been involved in an accident or which is operated in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall, at the request of a police officer, submit to a breath test to be administered by the police officer. If such test indicates that such operator has consumed alcohol, the police officer may request such operator to submit to a chemical test in the manner set forth in subdivision two of this section.
While this language is largely straightforward in nature, the complication that could arise for a driver occurs when he or she refuses to take this test.
Effect of a Breathalyzer Refusal in New York
If you have been drinking and driving and a police officer asks you to submit to a breathalyzer test, you need to understand that there are consequences if you refuse to do so. New York law specifically states that refusal to cooperate with sobriety testing will result in the generation of a report of such a refusal by the officer and an automatic suspension of your driving privileges as a result.
If you have suffered through this process, contact the Blanch Law Firm as soon as possible to schedule an initial consultation.