Consequences of a Chemical Test Refusal – First Offense

When you show up for your first court appearance you will be advised by the judge that you license will be temporarily suspended because you refused to submit to a chemical test. You will then be provided with a form entitled “Notice of Temporary Suspension and Notice of Hearing” on one side and “Waiver of Hearing” on the other side.

The “hearing” being referred to is a DMV refusal hearing. A refusal hearing is a civil or administrative proceeding that runs separately from your criminal court case. The hearing is usually held within 15 days of your first court appearance in front of a judge and is conducted at the local DMV in the county where you were arrested. The outcome of a refusal hearing will have no impact on your criminal case.

The civil sanctions for refusing to submit to a chemical test as a first offender are:

  • Mandatory revocation of your drivers license for at least one year.
  • A civil penalty in the amount of $500
  • A drivers responsibility assessment fee of $250 a year for three years.

This license revocation is a civil or administrative penalty separate and distinct from the license suspension/revocation from a VTL § 1192 conviction in criminal court.

This is a very simple and condensed breakdown of the law regarding refusal hearings. To ensure your rights are protected always consult with an experienced DWI attorney.


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