Did You Refuse The Breathalyzer Test?

Many people who are arrested in Ocean County refuse the breath test (Alcotest) in an effort to avoid DUI/DWI penalties when pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. What many people do not realize is that under New Jersey's implied consent law, it is illegal for someone to refuse to provide breath samples when law enforcement has probable cause to believe that the person is under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, the penalties for refusing the breath test are almost identical to the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, the fact that you refused the test will likely be interpreted as consciousness of guilt.

It goes without saying that if you have been arrested for refusing to submit to the Alcotest, you need an experienced New Jersey DUI/DWI defense lawyer fighting to protect your rights and driving privileges. Do not wait to call my Brick, New Jersey, law firm at 888-415-7141 for your free consultation.

But What If You Don't Think You Had Too Much To Drink?

New Jersey's implied consent law (NJSA 39:4-50.2) stipulates that individuals who operate a vehicle on New Jersey roads or highways have implied their consent to submitting to a breath test if an officer has probable cause to believe they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Violation of implied consent laws can result in serious breath test refusal penalties (NJSA 39:4-50.4).

If you are convicted for breath test refusal, you could face penalties such as:

  • License suspension of up to one year for a first offense
  • Up to $500 fine
  • Assessments totaling more than $500
  • Annual surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, even for a first offense

As with nonrefusal DUI/DWI cases, driver's license suspension increases to two years for second offense and to 10 years for third offense. Penalties also increase if the offense occurred within a school zone.

Were You Advised Of The Penalties For Breath Test Refusal?

When you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer may ask you to submit to a roadside breath test and a series of field sobriety tests such as the walk-and-turn test, the one-leg-stand test and/or the horizontal gaze nystagmus. If you refused the roadside test, failed the roadside test or in the officer's opinion failed the field sobriety test(s), the officer can arrest you and bring you to the police station to officially test your blood alcohol content (BAC) using the Alcotest. This is where New Jersey implied consent laws come into play. While you can legally refuse to submit to the roadside test, it is illegal to refuse to submit to the breath test at the police station.

When preparing your defense strategy, I will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest and your time at the police station. If the police officer failed to advise you of the penalties for refusing the breath test, it may be possible to get the charges dropped entirely. I will work hard to challenge the evidence and minimize your loss of driving privileges, if any.

Start Mounting Your DUI/DWI Defense Today · Free Case Evaluation

Are you facing charges for refusing the breath test in Toms River, Ocean County or Monmouth County, New Jersey? Call my office at 888-415-7141 or send me an email to arrange a free case evaluation. As a defense attorney, I have extensive experience representing drivers charged with DUI in Freehold, Long Branch and throughout the Jersey Shore.

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