Interviewer: When you say refuse the test, you mean the breath test at the police station or do you mean the roadside field sobriety test?
Stuart: It is technically the one at the station because that is the one that is admissible. When you, in essence, got your license you agreed by getting your license and signing those forms that if they suspected you of driving while intoxicated that you would agree to take this test to prove that you were not intoxicated.
Drivers in New York Agree to Submit to a Breathalyzer Test When They Receive Their Driver’s License
If you go back on that promise, they have the right to take your license for one year, simply for refusing to take the test. In essence, you made a deal to drive and that deal is you will take the test and if you break that deal then they take your license for a year.
Even If You Are Exonerated, You Are Still Subject to the One-Year Suspension for Refusing the Breathalyzer Test
There are conditional licenses involved if you plead for to a charge, but the quirk in the system is if you go to trial and win because you were not driving while intoxicated, you will still lose your license for a year, not based on your conviction, because you were found to have been not guilty, but based on the fact that you simply refused to take the test and that was the deal you made when you got your license.
You Do Not Receive Credit for the Time That Your License Has Been Suspended Before your Trial
Interviewer: Do people get any credit for, not time served, but for days suspended? Let’s say my license was suspended for a total of 90 days and then I’m found guilty, do I get credit for the time my license has already been suspended?
Stuart: No, that would be a nice thing, but that’s why I said before they distinguish between pre conviction and post conviction. They consider each time period two different things.
You May Apply for a 20-Day Stay of Your License Suspension
Post conviction starts after you’re convicted, and the pre conviction covers the time period until you’re convicted. So, no, the only benefit you would get is if you could get what’s called a 20-day stay. That applies if you had a license pre conviction, and if you have a conditional license, then they would give you 20 days to get your license paperwork in order post conviction.
Then, you could actually never lose your license for any time other than in the very beginning. Your post conviction revenue would start after those 20 days when you could go apply for it and do everything that you needed to do.
Interviewer: So is there any way to avoid not losing your license for the first 30 days after your arrest?
Stuart: The answer is, don’t get caught driving drunk; or, the other answer really is, you can get what’s called a hardship license for a certain amount of time immediately after you get arrested. However, again that has stringent limits on what you can do, but that’s the only license, in essence, that applies for that first 30 days.