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What is implied consent in New York?

Driving is often an important part of independent living. A large percentage of working adults transport themselves to and from their jobs every day. Those with children or other dependent family members rely on their personal vehicles to meet the needs of their loved ones. However, while driving a vehicle may feel like a necessity, New York state treats it as a privilege. Only those who agree to certain rules and who meet certain standards can obtain a driver’s license and legally operate a motor vehicle on public roads.

Even after getting a license, those accused of major traffic violations, including drunk driving, could be at risk of losing their driver’s licenses. There are also numerous laws limiting and restricting driving privileges in New York. For example, the implied consent law in New York can facilitate police investigations, but violations of this law might lead to someone losing their driving privileges.

What does the implied consent law actually do?

Every licensed New York motorist must accept certain restrictions on their driving privileges to obtain and retain a license. The implied consent law states that licensed drivers have effectively already given their implied consent to chemical testing in certain circumstances. If a New York police officer has the necessary probable cause to arrest someone for drunk driving, they can also request a chemical test.

Although officers typically cannot force someone to perform a test, they can arrest them and report them for both the suspected drunk driving and the violation of the implied consent law. If someone in state custody refuses a chemical test, they may face both drunk driving charges and allegations of violating the implied consent law.

What penalties do violations carry?

Someone who does not abide by New York’s implied consent law may endanger their eligibility for continued driving privileges. A conviction or guilty plea for an implied consent violation can cost someone their New York driver’s license. The first time someone refuses a test, the state may require that they pay a $500 fine. Second or subsequent offenses or a test refusal after a prior impaired driving conviction could lead to a $750 fine and an 18-month driver’s license suspension.

Making sense of the laws that apply during a New York traffic stop can help motorists better utilize their rights.