Each New Jersey resident who applies for and receives a driver’s license within the state automatically agrees to the New Jersey implied consent law (New Jersey Statute Annotated 39:4-50.2). This law states that you will submit to a breathalyzer test for the purpose of determining blood alcohol content (BAC) if pulled over by a law enforcement officer and suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.
But even though as a New Jersey licensed driver you gave this implied consent, you are still able to refuse a breathalyzer test. An officer cannot force you to take the breathalyzer test. However, the refusal itself can carry penalties similar to those of a DUI conviction.
If a police officer pulled you over and you refused the breathalyzer test, contact an attorney familiar with DUI law to provide guidance and prepare a defense for your case. If you were pulled over and took a breathalyzer test that revealed an elevated BAC, you should also contact an attorney for help. Call Dash Farrow LLP if you’re in New Jersey: 856-235-8300.
Penalties for Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer Test in New Jersey
Because you agreed to the implied consent associated with every driver’s license in New Jersey, if you refused to take a breathalyzer you have essentially broken a law.
Keep in mind that it is possible that you will still face conviction for the DUI charges even if the state doesn’t have the breath test results. Even without the breathalyzer results the court can convict you based on other evidence.
The prosecution can argue that your refusal to take the test is a signal that you knew you were intoxicated while driving.
Even if the state doesn’t pursue the DUI case, you are still facing the legal consequences of the refusal itself. Penalties assigned for refusal to submit to a breathalyzer may include the following.
- Loss of license: A refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test can result in a seven-month to one-year driver’s license suspension for your first offense. A second offense can bring a two-year suspension, and a third offense will have your license revoked for 10 years.
- Fines: For your first refusal of a breathalyzer test you may receive fines between $300 and $500. Your second offense will result in fines of $500 to $1,000, and a third offense will cost you at least $1,000. You could face a number of fees as well.
- IDRC: All offenses (whether your first, second or subsequent offense) requires at least 12 hours at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC).
These penalties double if you are on the property of a school, within 1,000 feet of a school or in a school crossing zone. And keep in mind that penalties may differ from case to case, so always consult a lawyer about your case and the consequences you might face.
Your attorney can help you build your defense. You have the right to obtain the breathalyzer test results, for example, if you didn’t refuse and an officer conducted the test.
Seek Legal Help for Your Case – Call Dash Farrow LLP
Whether you refused a breathalyzer test or took the test and were driving over the legal BAC level of 0.08, secure a lawyer to help you sort through the details of your case and establish a viable defense. Dash Farrow LLP handles DUI and related cases for drivers in New Jersey. Our team is knowledgeable about DUI law and can help you prepare your defense. Call us today at 856-235-8300 to set up a free consultation.