Skip to Content

Call Us - Problem Solved
1-877-HELMER1
1-877-435-6371

Drunk Driving: Consequences of Refusing a DUI Breath Test in New Jersey

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.

“Implied Consent” Under New Jersey Law

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.

DUI Breath Test Refusals: License Suspension, Financial Penalties and Mandatory Education

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:

DUI Refusal, First Offense:

  • License Suspension – 7 to 12 months
  • Financial Penalties – $300 to $500 in fines plus $275 in fees
  • Surcharge – $1,000 per year for three years
  • Mandatory Education – Minimum of 12 hours at an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC)
  • Mandatory Education Fee – $230 per day

DUI Refusal, Second Offense:

  • License Suspension – 24 months
  • Financial Penalties – $500 to $1,000 in fines plus $275 in fees
  • Surcharge – $1,000 per year for three years
  • Mandatory Education – Minimum of 12 hours at an IDRC
  • Mandatory Education Fee – $230 per day

DUI Refusal, Third and Subsequent Offenses:

  • License Suspension – 10 to 20 years
  • Financial Penalties – $1,000 fine plus $275 in fees
  • Surcharge – $1,500 per year for three years
  • Mandatory Education – Minimum of 12 hours at an IDRC
  • Mandatory Education Fee – $230 per day

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.

Speak with a New Jersey DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer Today

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.

Call Us - Problem Solved

| 1-877-HELMER1
Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

Time is of the Essence

Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.