Suppose you’ve gone out to dinner and had a drink while out. It was one drink, and you didn’t think anything about it before you got in your car to drive home. While driving home, you can get pulled over for any reason. Maybe your taillight is out, for example.
If you’re pulled over, and the law enforcement officer suspects you’ve been drinking, they can ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer. The question may seem like you can agree or refuse, and while you could refuse, you might want to consider if you should.
Consent comes with your driver’s license
New Jersey is an implied consent state. That means you agree to specific things when you get your driver’s license. One of those is that you agree to submit to chemical testing upon demand if suspected of driving while intoxicated.
If you do elect to refuse the breath alcohol test, that doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically evade an arrest for drunk driving. The officer can arrest you based on their observations and other evidence, at which point they may be able to obtain a warrant for another chemical test, such as through blood or urine. Substances can remain in your bloodstream much longer, making your refusal irrelevant.
Furthermore, refusal to submit to a breath test can lead to a license suspension and other administrative penalties. Penalties increase depending on whether you have a prior history of DUI convictions or prior refusals.
If you’re facing a charge of driving under the influence or refusing to submit to a chemical breath alcohol test, check out the laws in New Jersey. Experienced legal guidance can help you obtain a positive outcome in your case.