Imagine the New York police have just stopped you, and now they are asking you to take a breathalyzer test. What should you do? A breathalyzer test can show a person’s blood alcohol content. It is used by police officers to determine if a person is driving under the influence and should be arrested for a DUI/DWI. However, the law in New York and across the country state that a person needs to consent to this test before it is administered. So, should you take one? Read on to learn additional information on breathalyzer tests and the options you have on hand.

Blood tests?

One of the misconceptions regarding the breathalyzer test is that if you refuse to take one, you will be forced to take a blood test down at the police station. This is not true and has actually been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013. A warrant would be needed to extract any blood from you. It should be noted that blood may be extracted from you if you’ve been involved in a serious accident.

Other types of evidence

You may believe that not taking a breathalyzer test can prevent the police from using any evidence against you. However, this is not the case. Other types of evidence, such as failing a sobriety test or dashcam recordings of your poor driving, may be enough evidence to press charges on you.

Should you take a breathalyzer test?

A number of states across the union do have consequences of turning down a breathalyzer test. Some of these penalties may include a suspension of your driver’s license, admission of guilt or a night in jail.

Those who refuse or plan to refuse a breathalyzer test may want to rethink their approach. A personal attorney with DUI/DWI experience can tell you in detail what would happen if you refuse and the options at your disposal.



James Auricchio was admitted to the practice of Law in 2001. He entered private practice in 2010 after earning distinction as a State and Federal Prosecutor.

Named to the list of Superlawyers, in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024, a distinction awarded to less than 5 percent of all attorneys in New York State