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In New Jersey, refusing to submit to an Alcotest (breathalyzer test) after a DUI/DWI traffic stop is an offense that can lead to severe penalties in addition to the penalties for drunk driving. If you refused to take a breath test, it is critical that you speak with an attorney who knows the law and can help minimize the consequences of your arrest.
The penalties for refusing an Alcotest in New Jersey are based on the law of “implied consent.” Under New Jersey Statute 39:4-50.2:
“Any person who operates a motor vehicle on any public road, street or highway or quasi-public area in [New Jersey] shall be deemed to have given his consent to the taking of samples of his breath for the purpose of making chemical tests to determine the content of alcohol in his blood; provided, however, that the taking of samples is made . . . at the request of a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that such person has been operating a motor vehicle [while intoxicated].”
In other words, simply by driving on the public roads of New Jersey, you become legally obligated to submit to a breath test if a police officer has “reasonable grounds” to believe that you have been driving while intoxicated. While there are benefits to refusing a breath test in some states, we generally recommend that drivers agree to take a breath test when pulled over for DUI/DWI in New Jersey.
If you refuse an Alcotest in New Jersey, you can be charged with violating the “implied consent” law in addition to being charged with driving while intoxicated. This means that you can face penalties (and conviction) for two separate offenses. The penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer test in New Jersey include:
In addition to the above-mentioned penalties, you will also be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). These penalties can increase substantially (e.g., up to a 24-month license suspension and $1,000 in fines for a first offense) for DUI/DWI arrests in school zones.
If you refused a breath test after being stopped for DUI/DWI in New Jersey and would like to speak with an attorney, contact the law offices of Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. To speak with one of our experienced defense lawyers in confidence, call 1-877-435-6371 or request an appointment online today.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.