Blood Alcohol Tests
Buffalo DWI Attorney
When pulled over for DWI the police will ask you to blow into a breathalyzer to determine your blood alcohol level. Declining any of the blood alcohol tests by the police can result in harsher penalties. Contact Buffalo DWI Attorney John Dudziak to defend your rights and protect your future.
If you are stopped in New York and are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, the officer might ask you to take a blood alcohol test. In New York, this typically will consist of a breathalyzer test, but it could also be a blood, urine, or saliva test. The purpose of the test is to determine your Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) – essentially the percentage of alcohol in your blood. In New York, driving with a BAC above .08% will lead to a DWI charge.
You might be wondering what your options are when an officer in Buffalo asks you to take a blood alcohol test. Buffalo is very strict with their alcohol regulations across the board, and this no tolerance mindset carries over into the blood alcohol testing procedures and policies. In New York, an officer has “implied consent” to require you to submit to a chemical blood alcohol test if he has probable cause that you were operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Essentially, if you drive a vehicle in New York, you are impliedly consenting to any chemical tests should an officer suspect you are intoxicated.
Blood alcohol testing in New York usually is performed in two different stages: a pre-arrest “breath test,” also known as a “portable breath test” (“PBT”). This test can be administered if there is probable cause you were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While PBTs are less reliable and less accurate than the testing performed at a police station, they typically cannot be used against you in a DWI trial. More in-depth tests of the officers choosing will be administered after your arrest at the police station. You then have the right to request an additional test, to be administered by the physician of your choosing.
Now, you have the right to refuse to take any chemical tests in New York. However, such refusal is accompanied by harsh penalties. Because chemical tests are very important for the prosecution’s DWI case against you, refusing to take the tests results in an immediate One (1) year suspension of your Driver’s License. If you have refused testing or have a previous DWI conviction within the past Five (5) years, you will lose your Driver’s License for Eighteen (18) months. If you refuse testing and have had two prior DWI convictions or two refusals within the past Five (5) years, you can permanently lose your Driver’s License. It is imperative to contact an experienced Buffalo DWI Attorney if you have refused a breath test.
Typically, the officer must warn you that your Driver’s License will be suspended for an entire year if you refuse to taking the blood alcohol tests in New York. Further, if you do refuse the blood alcohol tests, you will also have to pay fines of approximately $500 ($750 for your second refusal or if you have had a DWI within the past Five (5) years).
Frequently Asked Blood Alcohol Test Questions
What are the Different Blood Alcohol Content Levels in NY?
- In New York, there are different blood alcohol content levels and limits associated with DWI. For New York drivers over the age of 21, the legal limit is 0.08% for private vehicles. If you drive a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is 0.04%. For drivers under the age of 21, the limit is 0.02%.
How Many Drinks Can I Have Before I Reach .08% BAC?
- There is no sure way to determine exactly how many drinks it would take for an individual to reach the legal limit. Our bodies process and metabolize alcohol at different rates. There are BAC charts available online that are based on the weight of a person, that might prove to be good guideline. The charts are, however, not a guarantee. You should always err on the side of caution and drink less to avoid a DWI.
How are Blood Alcohol Tests Completed?
- Blood alcohol testing in New York usually is usually performed in two different stages: a pre-arrest “breath test,” also known as a “portable breath test” (“PBT”). This test can be administered if there is probable cause you were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While PBTs are less reliable and less accurate than the testing performed at a police station, they typically cannot be used against you in a DWI trial. More in-depth tests of the officers choosing will be administered after your arrest at the police station. You then have the right to request an additional test, to be administered by the physician of your choosing.
Skilled Buffalo DWI Attorney Helping with Blood Alcohol Tests
If you or a loved one has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated, have questions about New York’s blood alcohol testing laws, or would like other alcohol-related legal assistance, call us today for a FREE consultation. Our highly skilled DWI Attorney in Buffalo NY will zealously advocate for your rights.
As a former Erie County Assistant District Attorney, former Town Attorney and Prosecutor for Lancaster, John M. Dudziak understands the law, and has the skills necessary to protect your rights. He is available 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week for a FREE phone consultation.