What You Need to Know About Refusing a Breath Test in New Jersey

  • Dan T. Matrafajlo
  • Mon Dec 2022
  • DWI,
  • 0

One of the most common ways the police and prosecutors use to prove a drunk driving case is a breath test. The result of a breath test can help determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which is necessary to show that you were intoxicated while driving.

A DWI (driving while intoxicated) can be more difficult to prove without a valid BAC measurement. However, if you refuse to submit a breath test, it can result in additional penalties.

New Jersey’s Implied Consent Law

New Jersey has an “implied consent” law that requires motorists who are legally arrested for drunk driving to submit to an alcohol test. However, this implied consent law in New Jersey is different than most other states.

New Jersey’s law states that any individual who operates a motor vehicle in the state is deemed to have given consent to chemical testing of their breath. Unlike other states, New Jersey’s implied consent law does not mandate drivers to take blood or urine tests.

Penalties for Refusal of Breath Test

If you have been cited for refusal of a breath test, you will face penalties if the magistrate judge determine by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) all of the following elements:

  • The arresting officer has probable cause to believe that you were driving or in actual physical control of your car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • You were lawfully arrested for drunk driving
  • The officer informed you of the consequences of your refusal to submit to a breath test
  • The officer requested a breath test, and
  • You refused to submit to a breath test.

If the judge can prove all of these factors, he or she will order the suspension of your driver’s license and issue fines.

1st Offense2nd Offense3rd Offense
License Revocation7 to 12 months2 years10 years
Fines$300 to $500$500 to $1,000$1,000

A revocation of your license will typically run concurrently (back-to-back) with any other DWI-related revocation periods (a DWI conviction will also result in license revocation). However, for a first offense, the judge can order that the suspensions run together (at the same time).

Contact Us Today!

If you have been arrested for a DWI offense, you should discuss your case, including any potential meritorious motions to suppress, with an experienced New Jersey DWI attorney. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, please call Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC at 908-248-4404.

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