Breath Test Refusal - N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2

Blowing into breath test

Getting pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in New Jersey forces you to make some hard choices. What should you tell the police? Should you ask for a lawyer? And should you decline any of the tests the police ask you to take, such as the field sobriety tests, breath test, or a blood test? Knowing which of these tests you're required to take is imperative. If you have already been charged with refusal, it is critical that you know your rights and how you can defend them.

New Jersey DWI Breath Tests - N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2

After being arrested under suspicion of a DWI, the arresting officer will bring you to the police station and will request you to take a breath test in order to determine your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). In order for you to receive a New Jersey state driver's licenses you would have given "implied consent" for a breathalyzer test when ever you are arrested for DWI. The police can't physically force you to submit to a breath test but upon request for a breath sample you should consent without question. The penalties for a refusal are very harsh and equivalent to the penalties you face for a DWI. Even with the refusal, you will  still likely be charged with a DWI based on the other physical evidence gathered by the police. Now you have to contend with both charges.

Penalties For Refusal In New Jersey

First Offense

  • 7-12  months driving privilege suspension (1-2 years in a school zone)
  • $300-$500 fine ($600 - $1000 fine in a school zone)
  • 12 hours at intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC)
  • $100 to Drunk Driving Fund
  • $100 to Alcohol Education & Rehabilitation Fund
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,000/year for 3 years
  • $75 Neighborhood Service Fund

Second Offense

  • 2 years driving privilege suspension (4 years in a school zone)
  • $500-$1000 fine ($1000 - $2000 fine in a school zone)
  • 12 hours at intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC)
  • $100 to Drunk Driving Fund
  • $100 to Alcohol Education & Rehabilitation Fund
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,000/year for 3 years
  • $75 Neighborhood Service Fund

Third Offense

  • 10 years driving privilege suspension (20 years in a school zone)
  • $1000 fine ($2000 fine in a school zone)
  • 12 hours at intoxicated driver resource center (IDRC)
  • $100 to Drunk Driving Fund
  • $100 to Alcohol Education & Rehabilitation Fund
  • Insurance surcharge of $1,500/year for 3 years
  • $75 Neighborhood Service Fund

Blood And Urine Testing

There are two other kinds of tests less frequently used to determine BAC and they are urine and blood. These are rarely used, mostly because they aren't needed unless the driver requires immediate medical attention after an accident, or if the driver is suspected of being under the influence of a drug. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you may be brought to a hospital where the hospital staff will draw your blood for testing.


If you have been charged with refusal because you wouldn't consent to a required breath test, it's time to call the attorney's at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. Our DWI lawyers are experienced in challenging refusal charges in New Jersey. Call 732-965-3999 today for a FREE consultation.

Act Now Before It's Too Late!

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Mistakes happen all the time. If a mistake was made by the police or the New Jersey prosecution it should not hurt you and your family. Our experienced NJ DWI Defense Lawyers at Villani & DeLuca regularly protect the legal rights of people who have been charged with DWI / DUI or breath test refusal. This traffic offense carries the possible of jail time and costly fines in New Jersey. The stakes are too high and can last for years. A strong legal defense can often convince the courts to have your drunk driving charges dismissed or reduced. Don't risk your future by defending yourself against a DUI! Contact Villani & Deluca today for a FREE case evaluation on all your pending drunk driving charges.

This website is designed for information purposes only and should not be construed as formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

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