You may be tempted to avoid taking a Breathalyzer test, especially when driving under the influence. Some people may think it is well within their rights not to give self-incriminating evidence, but in the state of New Jersey, the law says otherwise. Your refusal to take the Breathalyzer test could violate state laws, and you could end up facing the consequences.
The possible penalties for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test
Like all other DUI charges, the potential penalties vary depending on whether you are a repeat offender in such cases. The possible penalties include:
- License suspension
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Additional charges on your insurance
- Referral at an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) under the New Jersey’s Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP)
Defenses to a refusal charge
If you find yourself facing such charges, there are possible defenses you can employ to get yourself off the hook.
The DUI officer was not clear on your rights. Before giving a Breathalyzer test, the officer should inform you of your rights and the reason for taking the test. The DUI officer is also supposed to make you aware of what will happen if you decline to take the test. If that was not the case, you could use it as a defense.
Law enforcement did not follow the proper arrest procedure. Police are required to follow the appropriate arrest procedures at all times. In addition, the evidence against you must be obtained lawfully. If law enforcement had no reasonable grounds for pulling you over, you could use that to your defense if they proceeded to arrest you for refusal.
Medical reasons such as emphysema or asthma could also be valid grounds for your refusal. If you can prove your medical condition or injuries that prevented you from taking the test, you can rely on that in your defense.
There is a lot on the line when facing a DUI charge that likely accompanies refusal charges. It is why you should always be a step ahead of your case to ensure a desirable outcome.