In New Jersey driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is against the law. If you are stopped while operating a motor vehicle for any reason and the officer suspects you of driving while intoxicated, the officer may compel you to participate in a series of field sobriety tests, followed by a trip to the police station to provide a breath sample. If you have been arrested for DUI in Brick, New Jersey it might be time to contact an attorney with experience in drunk driving law.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in NJ
An officer may stop a motorist for any traffic violation, such as speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, or driving erratically. No matter what the initial reason was for being pulled over, the officer may develop a reasonable suspicion that the driver has been drinking and driving. This suspicion may be aroused if the officer observes that the driver is using slurred speech, has glassy eyes or smells of alcohol. Once the officer suspects that the driver is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, he or she may request the driver to submit to a series of standardized field sobriety tests (SFST's). There are three scientifically validated tests which have been studied and approved by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). It has been found that if administered properly, these three tests are fairly reliable predictors of whether a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) is high enough to affect the motorist's ability to drive. The officer uses the results of these tests to determine if there is probable cause to arrest a motorist for DWI and take him or her to the police station for further testing.
Refusal to Take Breathalyzer Tests
If you are suspected of driving while intoxicated, you may be asked to submit to a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). BAC is used to measure the amount of alcohol found in your blood stream. It can also be known as blood alcohol concentration, blood alcohol level or blood ethanol concentration. Many factors influence an individual's blood alcohol content, including weight, gender, the amount of food in your stomach, and your metabolic tolerance. If an individual is suspected of drunk driving and given a breath test, they will be charged with driving while intoxicated if they are found to have a BAC of .08% or higher.
When you get your driver's license in New Jersey you give implied consent for this test. Therefore, although you may refuse to perform a field sobriety test on the road without risking additional citations, if you refuse a breath test you will incur automatic penalties under New Jersey's refusal statute. If you are found guilty of refusing to submit to a breath test, you will be subject to an automatic license suspension for a period between seven months and one year. You will also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for a minimum of six months to one year after serving your license suspension and undergo the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) program. These are serious penalties you don't want to face alone without an attorney by your side.
Contact an Experienced Brick DWI Attorney
If you have been charged with DWI in Brick Township or surrounding towns, you should contact an experienced local DWI lawyer immediately. The DWI defense attorneys at Villani & DeLuca can discuss your options with you and will work to make sure that your rights are being protected. If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated or refusal, call our Brick Township Municipal Court lawyers for a free consultation at (732) 965-3999.