Can You Legally Refuse to Submit to a Blood Alcohol Test?
Often, when you are pulled over by police, one of the first questions they ask is whether you’ve been drinking. If you have, and you answer truthfully, they then will ask you to take a blood alcohol test, the results of which can be used against you in a DWI/DUI prosecution. Can you legally decline the officer’s request to submit to a breath test? Is there downside to refusing to take a blood alcohol test?
Like most other states, New Jersey applies the legal concept of implied consent when determining whether a person can refuse to take a blood alcohol test. Under the principle of implied consent, the act of operating a motor vehicle in the state of New Jersey constitutes the driver’s consent to undergo a breath test if requested by a police officer. You can legally say no, but there are consequences.
If you choose not to submit to a breath test, your case will automatically go to a magistrate, who will consider the evidence to determine whether all of the following facts can be proven:
- There was probable cause to believe that you were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs while driving;
- You were pulled over and arrested for impaired driving;
- The arresting officer requested that you take a breath test;
- The officer notified you of the potential consequences of declining the breath test; and
- You opted not to take the breath test.
If those facts can be shown, your license will be revoked immediately for a period of time from seven months to ten years, depending on the number of prior DWI or refusal convictions. You also may incur fines up to $1,000.
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. AttorneyMark Cintronis a former prosecutor with extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing, and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. We currently are available to talk with you by phone, text message, or online videoconference. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.