What happens if I refuse a breathalyzer test?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2022 | DUI/DWI Defense |

The last thing you want to see on your drive home is flashing lights behind you. As you pull over, you hope that the officer has something else to attend to, but instead, they pull in behind your vehicle.

As the conversation moves forward, you know the officer is going to ask you for a breath test. Still, at that moment, it can be difficult to remember what the best strategy is for potential drunk driving charges.

Here’s what can happen if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test in New Jersey.

Implied consent

Like many other states, New Jersey has an implied consent law regarding drunk driving and breath tests. Here, when you get a license and drive a vehicle, you are giving your consent to a breathalyzer test.

This means that there are consequences for refusing to take the test, even if you are not convicted of a DWI. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test can be its own charge against you.

Facing the consequences

Depending on your situation and where the officer pulled you over, you could have different consequences for refusing a breath test. In all instances, you will have to pay a fine, and your license will be suspended.

If you have multiple offenses or refuse a breath test in a school zone, the consequences get more severe. The fines for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer start at $300 and could reach as high as $2000. You could also lose your license from seven months to up to 20 years if you have multiple offenses on school property.


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