When a police officer suspects that a driver may be driving while intoxicated, they will likely administer field sobriety tests along with a breath test.
While you can refuse to submit to a breath test, there will be consequences.
What is a breath test?
A breath test measures how much alcohol is in the air you breathe out. An officer will ask you to blow into a device that estimates your blood alcohol content.
What happens if you refuse to take a breath test?
When you get a driver’s license in New Jersey, you give your implied consent to submit to chemical tests or blood, breath or urine. Refusing to submit to a chemical test of your breath will result in a charge for refusing to take the test as well as a charge for driving under the influence. A test is not required for the charge.
What are the penalties for refusing a breath test?
If convicted of refusing to submit to a breath test, the penalties are the same as a DUI conviction. Penalties include monetary fines as well as loss of your driver’s license. The amount of the fines and the length of license suspension depends on whether it was your first offense or one of many and if it occurred in a school zone. It is possible to lose your license for up to 20 years.
Aside from verbally asserting your refusal to submit to the test, silence, faking a blow into the tester and attempting to stall before taking the test are all considered refusing to submit to a breath test.