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What Are the Consequences for Refusing to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

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Refusing to Submit to a Breathalyzer in New Jersey

New Jersey Breath Test Refusal Law

When you receive your driver’s license in New Jersey, you give your implied consent to submit to chemical tests. “Implied consent” refers to an implicit agreement between New Jersey drivers and the State in which drivers agree to submit to chemical tests in exchange for the privilege of driving. Chemical tests can include providing blood, breath, or urine samples. Therefore, if you are arrested for a DUI offense, you are required by law to submit to a breathalyzer test.

Refusal to Submit to Breath Test in NJ

If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test when ordered to do so by law enforcement, you will be charged for refusing. Refusing to submit can include: a response that is ambiguous or conditional; an explicit refusal; or silence. In other words, by not explicitly agreeing to a breathalyzer, a person is refusing.

In addition to being charged with refusing to submit, you may still be charged with driving under the influence. A breathalyzer test result is not required to convict you of driving under the influence.

Refusal vs. Miranda

At present, Miranda rights do not apply to the administration of a breathalyzer test. Miranda warnings advise you of your right to have an attorney present. Frequently, confusion exists as to whether a person has a right to an attorney during a breathalyzer test. There is no right to have an attorney present during the administration of a breathalyzer test in New Jersey.

New Jersey Breathalyzer Refusal Penalties

A charge for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer is serious. A conviction can carry the same penalties as a DUI conviction. The chart below lists the penalties for a refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test under N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50.4. These penalties are in addition to any penalties you may receive from a DUI or DWI conviction.

(for 3 years)

OffenseFineFeesSurchargesLoss of Driving PrivilegesIntoxicated Driver Resource Program (IDRC)
1st$300-$500

School Zone: $600-$1,000

$230/day to New Jersey Intoxicated Driver Resource Center Program (IDRC)

$100 to Drunk Driving Fund

$100 to Alcohol and Rehabilitation Fund

$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

$1,000/ year7 months – 1 year

School Zone: 1 – 2 years

Minimum of 12 hours
2nd$500-$1,000

School Zone: $1,000-$2,000

$230/day to IDRC

$100 to Drunk Driving Fund

$100 to Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fun

$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

$1,000/ year (for 3 years)2 years

School Zone: 4 years

Minimum of 12 hours
3rd$1,000 fine

School Zone: $2,000

$230/day to IDRC

$100 to Drunk Driving Fund

$100 to Alcohol and Rehabilitation Fund

$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

$1,500/ year (for 3 years)10 years

School Zone: 20 years

Minimum of 12 hours

Refusal Warnings

Before the administration of a breathalyzer test, police officers are required to advise you of the penalties for refusing to submit. The following is provided by the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles:

THE ARRESTING OFFICER MUST READ THE FOLLOWING TO THE DEFENDANT:

ANSWER: _________________________________________

New Jersey’s State Statute on Refusing to Take a Breathalyzer Test

N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50.2 (Consent to taking of samples of breath; record of test; independent test; prohibition of use of force; informing accused) states:

What Should I Do If I Have Been Charged with Refusing to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

If you have been charged for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or any other DUI offense, the Union County law firm of Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC can assist you in your defense. Our firm represents clients in DUI related offenses. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Free Consultations Available – New Jersey DUI/DWI Lawyers

You can reach us 24 hours a day. Call (908) 322-7000.

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