Refusing Chemical Breath Testing

New Jersey DWI Attorney with 30+ Years’ Experience

In New Jersey, if you are arrested on suspicion of DWI and refuse to submit to a breath test, you can be charged with “refusal to submit to chemical breath testing.” A conviction of this violation carries a first offense 7-month driver’s license suspension even if you were not intoxicated at the time of your stop.

Fortunately, some new defenses have materialized in the past few years. Confusion, language barriers, and failure by police to provide the necessary warnings and instructions may constitute a defense to a refusal charge. In addition, the state’s burden of proof has recently changed from a civil standard to a criminal standard, which means that the state’s case is now more difficult and tougher to prove.

Penalties for Refusal to Submit to Chemical Breath Testing N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4.a include:

First Offense

  • Fine: No less than $300, no more than $500

  • Driver’s license revoked / suspended: 7 months to 1 year.

  • Other penalties: DDEF $100, Other mandatory fines under N.J.S.A. 39:5-41

  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center: 12 to 48 hours

  • Interlock: Length of suspension, plus 6-12 months

Second Offense

  • Fine: No less than $300, no more than $500

  • Driver’s license revoked / suspended: 2 years driver’s license suspension

  • Other penalties: DDEF $100, Other mandatory fines under N.J.S.A. 39:5-41

  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center: 48 hours

  • Interlock: Length of suspension, plus 1-3 years

Third or More Offenses

  • Fine: $1,000

  • Driver’s license revoked / suspended: 10 years driver’s license suspension

  • Other penalties: DDEF $100, Other mandatory fines under N.J.S.A. 39:5-41

  • Intoxicated Driver Resource Center: Referral to Intoxicated Driver Resource Center

  • Interlock: Length of suspension, plus 1-3 years

Speak with our New Jersey DUI lawyer; call the Law Offices of Christopher L. Baxter. We offer free case consults.

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As a 2015 Clients’ Choice award recipient with a *10.0 Superb Avvo Rating, Attorney Baxter has demonstrated his ability to secure favorable outcomes on behalf of our clients, no matter how complex the situation may be. Although you may be worried about what the future holds, you do not have to work through this time on your own. We stand ready to relentlessly defend you from your initial consultation until the resolution of your case.

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