NY Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192.3 - New York Refusal DWI

Unlike VTL 1192.2 where a reading of .08 or higher BAC is per se proof of intoxication, VTL 1192.3 has no such standard. Often times charged along with VTL 1192.2, this misdemeanor crime may also be charged alone as a DWI Refusal.

Upon returning to a precinct in New York City or elsewhere, you will be asked to submit to a breathe test through an intoxilyzer. At this time, or during any time in the DWI arrest process, you can ask to speak to your New York criminal lawyer or DWI attorney. Shortly after the process begins, the police will also inform you that your failure to submit to this test will result in the revocation of your license. Assuming the instructions were proper (that is a big assumption), if you fail to submit to this test, at your arraignment your license will be suspended or revoked pending a Refusal Hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Whether or not this crime is charged in addition to other offenses or individually, the basis of the crime is the observation of the police officers and potential legal presumptions. Because the police paperwork sets forth the pre-determined traits of intoxication, police officers will routinely indicate that you were unsteady on your feet, had blood shot and water eyes, smelled from alcohol and displayed other characteristics or indicia of being drunk. Obviously, as with any other DWI crime, they must also establish that you were operating a vehicle (not necessarily driving) on the road or highway.

Often times, cases involving refusals and common law DWI hinge on the police paperwork and the video. Although a generality, if there are inconsistencies in the paperwork or the video shows you articulating your words properly, standing straight, etc., there is a greater likelihood of beating the case as opposed to a video recording of you stumbling, slurring and behaving belligerent. Make not mistake, each case is unique, but the video and paperwork is critical.

Should you be convicted of VTL 1192.3, the following penalties and punishments are possible:

  • Jail up to one year
  • Probation up to three years
  • Community service
  • License suspension for six months (Common Law) or a one year revocation (Refusal) - (you may be eligible for a conditional license)
  • A fine between $500 to $1,000
  • Drinking and Driving Program (DDP)
  • Driver responsibility assessment of $250 a year for three years
  • Victim Impact Panel
  • Vehicle interlock device
  • Increased car insurance

When all is said and done, the ramifications of this misdemeanor are extraordinary and significant. Even worse, the result of a plea or conviction will overshadow you forever.

Call the New York City DUI attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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