Every driver issued a license in New Jersey gives their implied consent to chemical testing if they are pulled over by police. What that means is that when you sign for a driver’s license, you implicitly agree to comply with the arresting officer in the event that you are arrested for DWI. It also means that you can’t refuse a breathalyzer without facing some serious repercussions. However, there are rules that the police must follow, and you do not have to consent to every request that a police officer makes. So what is implied consent in NJ, and how does it affect a DWI case?

Can I Refuse a Breath Test?

Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, you already consented to chemical testing by signing on the dotted line of your driver’s license. So the question is: do you refuse or not?

While you can refuse to submit to breath test, you will face charges based on that refusal. A magistrate judge will be asked to determine whether or not the officer had probable cause to pull you over. Additionally, the prosecution will need to prove that:

  • You were arrested for DWI;
  • Officer requested a breath test;
  • Officer informed you of the consequences of refusing; and,
  • You refused to submit to a breath test.

If the judge determines that all of these factors are true, you will face consequences.

What Are the Consequences for Refusing a Breath Test?

The consequences of a refusal will depend on whether or not you have:

  • Refused a breath test before, or
  • Been convicted of DWI within the past ten years.

For a first offense, the driver faces an automatic revocation of their license for at least 7 months and as long as a year. A second conviction results in a two-year revocation of their license while a third results in a 10-year revocation. Additionally, fines gradually become greater.

License revocation periods run concurrently. In other words, if you have been suspended for 7 months for a first offense and are caught again, you can face up to 2 years and 7 months of being without your license.

You will be expected to enroll in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center Program which you will need to pay for out of your own pocket. In severe situations, the judge may order you to undergo a drug and alcohol screening.

In addition to these requirements, you will need to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on all of your vehicles at your own expense for at least six months. The court will also require you to pay an insurance surcharge of $1,000 annually or $1,500 for a second or third offense.

A New Jersey DWI Attorney Can Help You Minimize the Penalties Against You

If you’ve been charged with DWI in New Jersey or accused of refusing a breathalyzer, you need an attorney who will fight to protect your rights. For answers to question about what is implied consent in NJ and what you should do if you have been pulled over, speak to Samuel Louis Sachs Esq LLC today. We have successfully helped many people fight the charges against them or have the penalties reduced. Call today to learn more.