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What happens after refusing a breath test in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2023 | DWI Defense |

New Jersey has strict policies against driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. State law dictates that you cannot refuse a breath test from authorities who pull you over.

The state implements implied consent among drivers. It means you could be in a tough spot after refusing a breath test.

Authorities facilitate this test to check if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is within state limits. If not, you could face DUI charges and penalties based on your circumstances.

According to state law, breath test refusal can lead to sanctions, including fines and license suspension. You might face the following:

  • First offense: Fines ranging from $300 to $500, license suspension or ignition interlock device (IID) installation and entering a driver resource center
  • Second offense: Fines ranging from $500 to $1000, one to two years of license suspension, IID installation and 48 hours in a driver resource center.
  • Third offense: Fines worth $1000, eight years of license suspension and IID installation.

The court might require you to use an IID even if you get back your driving privileges. Also, subsequent DUI offenses could affect your car insurance amount. Additionally, the court could add on your DUI charge if the incident caused any property damage or physical harm.

What happens if I take and fail the breath test?

If the breath test indicates that your BAC is beyond the legal limit, the police officer could arrest you for DUI. In this instance, you should avoid the following:

  • Providing too many details to yes-or-no questions
  • Refusing to comply with the arresting officer’s requests
  • Attempting to run away from the scene

At this point, the officer is just following the legal process after verifying your BAC. You could minimize the consequences by being cooperative.