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Refusals of the Breath Test

Interviewer: What is the common reaction of the people when they are accused of refusing breath tests?

Lauren Scardella: Yes, occasionally. If a person blows into the Alcotest® and doesn’t give sufficient samples, then after a few tries the officer can charge them with refusal. Most refusals are where people actually do refuse, meaning they say no when they are asked to give breath samples. The reasons behind that vary. Mostly what people say is they didn’t really understand that they had to do it. Or they were afraid that it would show that they were more intoxicated that they had presumed.

New Jersey Is an Implied Consent State By Driving in the State, You Agree to Undergo a Breath Test 

We have implied consent law in New Jersey which means if you drive on the road in New Jersey whether or not you got your license here, you have already given consent to undergo a breath test.

You’re giving your implied consent just because you’ve crossed the GW Bridge and arrive in Fort Lee and that’s it. You’ve given your implied consent and your failure upon arrest to give samples of your breath is an offense.

You’ll be charged. It’s not administrative like it is in other states. It’s an offense that doesn’t result in automatic suspension of your license like it does in other states.

Refusing a Breath Test for a First Offense DWI Entails a 7 to 12 Month License Suspension and Is Not Subject to Plea Bargaining

Interviewer: What are the consequences of refusing?

Lauren Scardella: The consequences of conviction parallel the DUI consequences. For a first offense it’s a 7 to 12 month loss of license, as there’s no lower tier for a refusal. For a second offense, it is a two-year loss of license. For a third offense, there’s no jail term but it’s a ten-year loss of license.

There’s no plea bargaining on a first offense. On the second and third offense the Refusal can be plea bargained away.

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