Getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol is never a wise move. You should have a plan in place before you start drinking for the night. But if you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been pulled over and a police officer is asking you to take a breathalyzer, you need to be prepared with how to handle the interaction. DUI charges are serious in New Jersey, and you should consult a Mercer County DUI attorney immediately if you are charged with driving under the influence
Can I Say No To A Breathalyzer?
One of the most common questions asked of a Mercer County DUI attorney is if a driver may refuse to take a breathalyzer when pulled over. The answer isn’t a simple yes or no response. Can you refuse it? Yes. Can you refuse it and avoid consequences? No.
New Jersey is an implied consent state, meaning that when you get your license, you are consenting to avail yourself to chemical tests. Chemical tests include:
- Blood samples
- Breath samples
- Urine samples
So because you have already consented to submit to these tests, refusing to do so will carry consequences. A refusal isn’t just explicitly saying no; an ambiguous answer or silence will also be deemed a refusal. By refusing to take a breathalyzer, you face the following penalties:
- 1st offense: $300 to $500 fine, license suspension of 7 months to 1 year
- 2nd offense: $500 to $1,000 fine, license suspension of 2 years
- 3rd offense: $1,000 fine, licenses suspension of 10 years
In addition, you’ll have to get an ignition interlock device installed, your car insurance rates will increase, and you will be required to pay money to the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund.
Because a breathalyzer is not required to convict a person of a DUI, you might still be convicted on top of everything else.
Remember: The Miranda Warning is not required for a police officer to administer a breathalyzer. There isn’t a right to have an attorney present prior to submitting to a breathalyzer. You will be treated as having refused if you demand for an attorney to be present.
Contact a Mercer County DUI Attorney To Discuss Your Options
If you’ve already refused a breathalyzer, get in touch with a DUI attorney in Mercer County immediately. Mark Catanzaro is an experienced Mercer County DUI attorney who is familiar with the laws. Police officers are required to advise you of the penalties for refusing a breath test. If the arresting officer did not do so, I will fight to have your rights protected.
Contact me today to schedule a free consultation.