Burlington County, NJ Law Blog

Friday, March 24, 2017

What If I Refuse the Breathalyzer Test?

What penalties do I face if I refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test in New Jersey?

Law enforcement officers across New Jersey are on the look-out for potentially intoxicated drivers.  Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in the state that can result in loss of your license, time in jail, fines, and more.  Being pulled over and asked to submit to a breathalyzer test is a frightening experience.  Drivers will often wonder whether they have to submit to the breathalyzer test and what will happen if they refuse.  Our DWI/DUI criminal defense attorneys discuss the consequences of refusing the breathalyzer test below.

Implied Consent

When you apply for and receive a driver’s license in the state of New Jersey, you give implied consent to submit for chemical tests when requested.  Chemical tests could include breath, blood, and urine samples.  Accordingly, if you are lawfully arrested for a DUI offense, you are legally required to submit to a breathalyzer test.

Refusing to Submit

If you refuse to submit to the breathalyzer test, you will face potential charges for refusal.  Refusal can include explicit refusal, silence, failing to blow hard enough, and the like.  New Jersey has some of the harshest penalties for refusal in the nation. Individuals that refuse a breathalyzer test could face the same penalties as a DUI conviction, including loss of driving privileges and significant fines.  

Defenses to Refusal

If you have been charged with refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, there are several defenses you could potentially raise.  These include:

  • Failure to read you your rights and warnings:  Officers must comply with protocol by informing you of your legal rights and the potential consequences if you refuse the test.  
  • Confusion:  You may be able to raise the confusion doctrine if the police confused you by reading your Miranda rights and the test warnings at the same time. Individuals at times believe that the right to remain silent equates to their right to refuse the test through silence.
  • Lack of probable cause:  You can contest the refusal charges if you can establish the officer lack probable cause to initiate your arrest.  

These are just a few of defense you could raise against refusal charges.  Anyone facing DUI charges or refusal charges should contact our criminal defense attorneys at Sitzler & Sitzler as soon as possible.  


Archived Posts


Criminal Defense News

Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Please call the office at (609) 267-1101 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your matter. Same day consultations are available. We are available for detention hearings in every county in South Jersey. Detention hearings are normally scheduled with in forty-eight (48) hours of an arrest that resulted in immediate incarceration.

We handle every type of criminal and traffic offense in the Federal Court, the Magistrate Court (military matters); the State Courts (superior court), the Municipal Courts located in townships, cities and boroughs within the counties of Burlington, Camden, Ocean, Gloucester, Atlantic, Cumberland, Salem, Cape May, and Mercer.

© 2020 Sitzler and Sitzler | Attorney Advertising
1487 State Highway 38 West, Hainesport, NJ 08036
| Phone: 609-267-1101

Criminal Defense Overview | Theft | White Collar Crimes | DWI/DUI Defense | Felonies/Indictable Charges | Homicide | Misdemeanor/Disorderly Person | Traffic Violations | Criminal Sexual Contact | Violent Crimes | Drug Crimes | Expungement | Domestic Violence | Juvenile Matters | Weapons Offenses | Federal Cases | MVC Points/ Driver License Violations | Probation and Parole Violations | Multiple DUI/DWI Offenses | Megan's Law | Assault and Battery | Burglary | Appellate Law | Guns and Weapons Charges | CJP Hearing | Criminal Defense | About Us | Other Services | En Espanol

FacebookGoogle+TwitterLinked-In Company

Law Firm Website Design by
Zola Creative