DUI/DWI: Whether to Take a Breath Test and Consequences of Refusal

Often people are not aware that if you refuse to take a breath test (breathalyzer) after being arrested for DWI/DUI (drunk driving), there are consequences for refusal. Your driver’s license will be suspended pending a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge with the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you lose that hearing, your license is suspended for 6 months, with an additional financial penalty aside from the conviction itself. On the other hand, if you are later convicted of a DWAI traffic infraction, your license may be suspended for 90 days, which may be in addition to the suspension for refusing to take the chemical test. If you are convicted of a DWI or aggravated DWI, your license will be revoked for six months or one year. Of course, the chemical breath test results will be used as a basis for prosecuting the driver. If a person refuses to take the test, a jury can be told that this refusal may be used as evidence of the driver’s consciousness of guilt.

If you have been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, it is important that an experienced criminal defense law firm assist you. Contact Green & Willstatter for an initial consultation with a knowledgeable DWI attorney.

A White Plains DWI lawyer/attorney at Green & Willstatter can help. We can represent you at your DMV hearing following your DWI arrest. We often cross-examine the arresting officer there.

If you took the breath test but the result showed alcohol above the legal limit, your license will be suspended pending prosecution. However, you have the right to seek a hardship license to drive to and from work, school, or medical appointments. A DWI attorney at our firm can assist you by offering evidence to attempt to convince a court that you should be granted a hardship license.

If convicted of a DWI, your license will be revoked for six months or even a year, a fine will be imposed, and you may be put on probation. If a client is eligible, we help direct them to the DMV Drinking Driver Program (DDP), which is now often a requirement ordered by the sentencing court. The DDP program permits you to obtain a conditional driving license during the period of suspension or revocation. In many cases, we can convince prosecutors to offer the lesser-included offense of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), which is only a traffic infraction and has lesser penalties.

The best way to handle a DWI charge is to retain a knowledgeable and aggressive DWI defense lawyer. Contact us with your questions regarding a DWI charge.