When a law enforcement official pulls you over for drinking and driving, you may not want to take a breath test. Many drivers think that when they refuse a breath test, there will not be enough evidence available for a DUI conviction.
However, when you refuse to take a breath test, this will not prevent a DUI conviction. Instead, it can result in additional penalties.
Consequences for refusal
If you refuse to take a breath test during a DUI arrest, a first offense can result in a fine ranging from $300 to $500 as well as license suspension and the requirement to install an ignition interlock device, according to the state of New Jersey. The number of breath test refusals on your record also impacts the severity of the consequences. For example, for a third offense, you could face a fine of up to $1,000 and a license suspension for eight years.
Examples of a refusal
A breath test refusal can mean saying “no” to the test as well as other actions. For example, law enforcement may determine a breath test refusal occurred if you do not provide a sufficient breath sample, provide a weak sample, stay silent when requested to take a breath test or delay taking a breath test.
If you refuse a breath test during a DUI arrest, you may have concerns about how this action will affect your case moving forward. Although penalties may still apply, there are defenses you can use to potentially mitigate the charges against you.