Penalties for Refusing a Breath Test

License Suspension, Fines & Jail for Refusing A Breath Test

The penalties for refusing to take a breath test are stiff in New Jersey. There are mandatory penalties that apply whenever someone is convicted in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2. The following is a review of the consequences of a first, second, or third or subsequent conviction for refusing to provide a breath sample. Our DWI Attorneys can help you with any charge filed because you allegedly refused to take a breath test. We represent individuals throughout the county including in towns with the highest number of DUI charges annually like Middletown, Holmdel, Howell, Tinton Falls, and Wall NJ. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact one of the attorney at our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. Lawyers are available 24/7 to discuss a refusal.

  • First Offense for Refusal. The license suspension for a first offender under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2 is between seven (7) months and one (1) year. If the accused is also being suspended for a DWI, driving while revoked or because some other issue, a court possesses authority to run the refusal suspension concurrent. The fine for a first offense is $306 to $506 and there is a mandatory twelve (12) hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC). Installation of an ignition interlock for a period of six (6) months to one (1) year is mandatory for a first conviction.
  • Second Offense. The license suspension for a second refusal is two (2) years and may be run concurrent to a commensurate driving while intoxicated conviction. A defendant must also pay a fine of $506 to $1006, attend the IDRC for forty eight (48) hours, and is subject to an ignition interlock for a period from one (1) to three (3) years.
  • Third or Subsequent Refusal. A ten (10) year license suspension applies for a third offense. The other penalties include a fine of $1006 and ignition interlock of up to three (3) years.
  • School Zone Refusal. When someone is operating in a school zone and subsequently refuses to submit a breath sample and/or to take a breath test, they are subject to enhances penalties. Penalties set forth in N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2 are doubled when this occurs.
  • Plea Bargaining. The prohibition against plea bargaining applies where the accused is facing a first offense for DWI or DUI. The court may allow the suspension period for the DUI and refusal to run concurrent. If the charge involves the second or subsequent offense of the accused, the prosecutor may resort to plea bargaining to dismiss a refusal provided it arises out of the same incident as the driving while intoxicated charge.

An Experienced DWI Lawyer Is Key In Avoiding Breath Test Refusal Penalties

Defendants and even attorneys often jump to the conclusion that refusal penalties are unavoidable. This is not as firmly entrenched proposition as many would believe. Refusing to provide a breath test or breath sample can have negative consequences but only if the prosecution can satisfy its burden of establish you guilty under 39:4-50.2. This is where someone who is highly knowledgeable in the New Jersey Refusal Law can prove his worth. A skilled lawyer can identify and effectively attack pitfalls in the state’s proofs. Our attorneys are here to help you in this capacity. Call our highly skilled DWI defense lawyers for immediate assistance in fighting a refusal charge.

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