Breath Test Submissions Decline in New York
When you are stopped by the police on suspicion of drunk driving, you are faced with a huge question: Do I take a breath test?
No matter what type of blood-alcohol content test you are offered, you may feel complied to do so due to the stress of the situation. If you refuse in New York, you are not alone. One in three DUI suspects in Erie and Niagara Counties refuse to submit to such tests.
According to News 4, most DUI suspects who were ultimately convicted faced lesser charges if they did not take the test. Of those convicted, 66 percent refused the test and ended up with lesser charges, while 61 percent took a test and received greater charges.
Part of a police officer’s job at a DUI stop is to collect evidence. Police may use a handheld device, even though its numbers are not legally admissible. What they can do, then, is transport the suspect to the police station and have them take a breathalyzer test. Once a person blows into the machine and has a registered result, they have given the prosecutor evidence to use against them.
Many defense attorneys prefer that their clients do not submit to a chemical analysis, if only to prevent the prosecution from gaining more evidence. It is everyone’s legal right to refuse a breath or blood test, and they cannot be compelled to. In most states, there is an automatic license suspension for a refusal, but lawyers point out that you can often obtain a conditional license that allows you to drive to work or school or for medical treatment.
Submitting to a chemical test after being charged with DUI is a personal choice. The best advice is to call your attorney as soon as possible after you have been arrested and follow the advice you are given.