Refusal to Submit a Chemical Breath Test NJSA 39: 4-50.4a and NJSA 39:4-50.2

If you are found guilty of Refusal to Submit a Chemical Breath Test, you may be charged with either of the following:

  • Revocation for Refusal to Submit a Chemical Breath Test (NJSA 39:4-50.4a)
    or
  • Refusal to Submit a Chemical Breath Test (NJSA 39:4-50.2)
  • In State v. Nunnally, the court claimed that 39:4-50.2, being the implied consent statute (detailed below), is not the statute to be used for charging a motorist with a refusal. Despite the court’s claims, it is critical to bear in mind that the four essential elements of the implied consent statute must be satisfied prior to charging the defendant with a refusal pursuant to 39:4-50.4a.

    Although it may seem like the cards are stacked high against a defendant charged with Refusal to Submit a Chemical Breath Test, the lawyers at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo have devoted decades to developing strategies that work, and further, challenge penalties that are typically affiliated with the charge.

    Below, you will find a basic outline of the Refusal to Submit a Chemical Breath Test statute and the penalties that are associated with each offense.

    Every motorist who operates a motor vehicle in New Jersey deems consent to submit to a chemical breath test to determine blood alcohol content.

    New Jersey state law requires you to take a breath test if you are arrested for a DWI. The state’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving while intoxicated, then you consent to taking a chemical breath test to determine your blood alcohol level (or BAC).

    The test must be taken at the time of arrest. In the event that you refuse to take a test, the officer may not force you to take one.

    You may be arrested for a DWI even if you are not driving. In the event that you allow another person to drive your car, knowing that that person is intoxicated, then New Jersey law dictates that you, too, can be convicted of a DWI. Such a law is put in place to penalize those who contribute to putting drunk drivers on the road just the same as the drunk drivers themselves.

    Once you are arrested, the officer will request a breath test; in addition, the officer must inform you of your rights if you submit to a test as well as the penalties if you choose not to submit. If you do submit to the test, then you are entitled to receive a copy of the test results and you have the right to additional breath, blood, or urine tests taken by a medical professional of your choice.

    The following penalties are upheld for a first offense for Refusing to Submit a Chemical Breath Test

    • A $300 to $500 fine
    • A suspension of your driver’s license for a period of at least 7 months and no more than 1 year
    • A fine of of $100 paid to the state Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund (DDEF)
    • A referral to the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)

    The following penalties are upheld for a second offense for Refusing to Submit a Chemical Breath Test

    • A $500 to $1000 fine
    • A suspension of your driver’s license for up to 2 years
    • A fine of $100 paid to the state Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund (DDEF)
    • A referral to the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)

    The following penalties are upheld for a third (or subsequent) offense for Refusing to Submit a Chemical Breath Test

    • A $1000 fine
    • A suspension of your driver’s license for up to 10 years
    • A fine of $100 paid to the state Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund (DDEF)
    • A referral to the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
    • Motor vehicle commission surcharges amounting to $3,000 and 9 car insurance points

    Lastly, it usually does not help you to refuse to take a breath test when you are arrested for a DWI. In New Jersey, the consequences for a first DWI include fines, jail time and a minimum three-month suspension of your license when there is no Alcott st readings . The consequences are more severe for refusing a chemical test.

    Moreover, refusing the chemical test does not, by any means, guarantee that you won’t be convicted. You may be found guilty of a DWI even If your refusal means that the state does not have proof that your BAC was 0.08% or higher above the legal limit (for those over 21).

    If you have been arrested on a Refusal to Submit a Chemical Breath Test charge in the state of New Jersey or any other state, get help from an experienced DWI attorney. To avoid or reduce the serious consequences often attributed to charges associated with DWI, your best best is to find an attorney who is knowledgeable about your state’s laws and about how the system works within your county’s court.