Protecting You After The Refusal Of A Breath Test
In the state of New Jersey, police officers who are under the reasonable assumption that you may be driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DWI) can and will administer a breathalyzer test. Under New Jersey state law, by holding a driver’s license, you imply your consent to this test simply by being on the road. Although refusing the breath test can seem like the optimal choice, as first-time offense penalties are less severe than a DUI/DWI conviction, it is usually not the best option. If you have refused a breath test, it is time to get a lawyer.
At The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen, I understand how overwhelmed and scared people feel when they are pulled over and refuse a breath test. As a highly experienced criminal defense attorney, I have insight into all the different strategies that can be used to fully defend you against any charges you are facing. Together, we can pursue a resolution to the case that is in your best interests, while protecting your family and freedom. I may be able to prove a wide variety of things in court to prevent a guilty verdict on breath test refusal, such as proving you were physically incapable, genuinely confused regarding your legal requirements, or that the police officer did not have probable cause or follow proper arrest and test administration procedures.
Implied Consent Law And Breath Test Refusal Penalties And Fines
New Jersey breath test law, also known as an implied consent law, requires that any and every driver on the road submit to a chemical breath test, also called a breathalyzer or Alcotest, if a police officer requests the driver to take one. If you refuse a breath test, you will be subject to face penalties in the court of law, including fines and driver’s license suspension.
The following penalties can generally follow a breath test refusal conviction:
- First offense: A monetary fine of between $300-$500 and a 7-12 months driver’s license suspension
- Second offense: The fine is increased to between $500 to $1,000, and driver’s licenses are suspended for two years.
- Third offense: A third refusal to submit to a breath test is punishable by a fine of $1,000 maximum and a 10-year license suspension.
Other penalties may be added to the list above in the form of fines paid to the New Jersey Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund, and the driver will be required to satisfy certain requirements imposed by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). One of the main requirements that one may face is the installation of an ignition interlock device that prevents one from starting their engine if they have been drinking alcohol.