What are the Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test During a DUI Stop
Posted by Scott Gorman - February 12, 2021

When the police pulled you over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), did you refuse to take the breath test? If you did, you may be facing two charges instead of one. In addition to a DUI charge, you may also be facing a charge for violating New Jersey’s implied consent law. In order to fight both of these charges, you will need to hire an experienced Essex County DUI lawyer to represent you.

What is New Jersey’s Implied Consent Law?

Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, anyone who drives on the state’s public roads is required to submit to a breath, blood or urine test upon request during a DUI traffic stop. By driving on public roads, all drivers in the state give their implied consent to these tests. If you refuse to submit to a test (most commonly the breath test), then you can be charged with violating the law.

While an implied consent violation may not seem like a serious issue, the penalties for implied consent violations in New Jersey are substantial. For a first-time offense, you can face penalties including:

  • A 3-month ignition interlock device requirement
  • A $1,000 annual insurance surcharge for three years
  • Hundreds of dollars in fines and fees
  • Mandatory education at an Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC) at the cost of $230 per day

For a second-time or third-time offense, you can face increased fines, longer periods of ignition interlock device requirements, and you can lose your driver’s license for years.

Are There Defenses to Implied Consent Law Violations

Defending against a charge for an implied consent law violation can be difficult. Either you provided a breath sample or you didn’t—there is no in-between. However, there are still various circumstances that can provide defenses to implied consent law violations. Some examples include:

  • The arresting officer failed to explain your rights. In order for New Jersey’s implied consent law to apply, the arresting officer must explain that (i) you have the right to receive a copy of your test results, and (ii) you have the right to get an independent test of your BAC after your traffic stop.
  • The arresting officer failed to inform you of the consequences of refusal. In addition to informing you of your rights, the arresting officer must also explain the consequences of refusing to provide a breath sample.
  • Your DUI traffic stop was unlawful. If the arresting officer stopped you in violation of your constitutional rights (i.e. without reasonable suspicion), this may provide a defense to your implied consent charge and your DUI charge.
  • You tried to provide a breath sample. If you tried to blow into the breathalyzer device but the device could not register your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), then you haven’t committed an implied consent law violation.

Get a Free Consultation with Essex County DUI Lawyer Scott Gorman

Have you been charged with violating New Jersey’s implied consent law? If so, it is important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with Essex County DUI lawyer Scott Gorman, call 973-796-3800 or get in touch online now.

Published in Categories: DUI / DWI