A huge mistake a lot of drivers make is refusing to take the Alcotest machine (breathalyzer) because they believe it is better or that they cannot get in trouble for DWI. Nothing could be farther from the truth – in fact in many circumstances it can be much worse. This is because they will be still be charged with DUI as well as a separate statute for Refusal which carries a mandatory loss of license even for a first time offender, prior to the installation of a mandatory interlock device. Unlike many surrounding states, New Jersey has an “implied consent” law which basically means that if you drive a car on any road or highway in this state you are automatically agreeing to consent to take the Alcotest if police have probable cause that you are driving while intoxicated. In order for the officer to establish the reasonable basis and probable cause for a DWI arrest they normally look for certain observations such as a strong odor of alcohol on the breath, bloodshot or droopy eyes, and slurred speech. Moreover, the police will also heavily rely on how the suspect performs on the Standard Field Sobriety Testing “SFSTs” which are typically given at the roadside. If the motor vehicle stop results in a DWI arrest then the suspects will be brought down to the station to take a breath test so officers can collect a sample of the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration “BAC”. If you do not take the breath test or if the officers cannot obtain two successful breath readings because you do not blow into the Alcotest long enough and hard enough, you will be charged with Refusal. As mentioned above, the penalties for Refusal in New Jersey essentially mirror the penalties for DUI charges. A conviction for a first offense Refusal will result in a license suspension until an ignition interlock device is installed in your vehicle for a first offense, a 1 to 2 year loss of license for a second offense, and an 8 year loss of license for third offense. To learn more, visit our DWI resource page for more information or contact our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation.
Refusal Lawyers in Bloomfield NJ
As outlined above, the penalties for a refusal to submit to a breath test are severe. Moreover, it is important to understand that you can be convicted of both a DWI and Refusal which will result double the fines, surcharges, interlock device, and added suspension depending on the number of previous convictions for DWI or refusal. This is why it is very important to contact a skilled and experienced Refusal and DWI lawyer to challenge the state’s case against you. Challenging a Refusal can be very tough because normally all the law requires is that officer read you the consent form and said “No” when asked if you would take the test. However, there are several loopholes and caveats which can often be attacked when defending a refusal charge. If you have been charged with a DWI or Refusal it is important that you learn about your rights and options. At Proetta & Oliver we hold unique dual certification in the operation and maintenance of the Alcotest 7110 machine and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instruction. If you would like to learn more about how our law firm can help you, contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.