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Court Rules Brain Injury No Basis for DUI Test Refusal

July 23, 2012 | Posted In Criminal Law - DUI/DWI, Personal Injury |

New Jersey DUI Lawyers Discuss Consequences of DWI Refusal

A New Jersey appellate court has ruled that a brain injury is no legal basis to refuse a DUIbreathalyzer.

The ruling involves a woman who was pulled over at a traffic stop in March in Woodbury, New Jersey.  Authorities asked the woman to take a breathalyzer test but she refused.  The police informed her that refusing a breath test would expose her to serious consequences. 

The woman cited her disability, maintaining that since she had a brain injury, she was unable to comprehend the officer’s instructions about the consequences of DUI refusal.  She alleges that she suffered the injury back in a 1978 accident, and that the injury prevented her from understanding the consequences of the refusal.

The court ruled that her brain injury was not a valid basis for refusing the DUI test. According to Gloucester County prosecutors, her insistence that her brain injury prevented her from understanding the instructions of the police officer did not ring true because the woman had, since her injury, gone on to obtain college degrees and a special education teaching certification.  Since the injury, she has maintained a career illustrating and writing children's books.

The court found that the police officers in this case had properly instructed the woman about the consequences of her DUItest refusal.

Under New Jersey law, drivers who are pulled over by a police officer and asked to submit to a breathalyzer test must comply.  Failure to submit to a breathalyzer test is an offense that is punishable under New Jersey law.  Refusal to submit to a test may expose you to charges of refusal and driving under the influence.  Penalties for refusal may be equal to the penalties for a DUIconviction.

The New Jersey DUI lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with DUI across New Jersey.

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