What Does Implied Consent Mean in New Jersey?
Whether you know it or not, if you are a licensed driver in New Jersey you have already agreed to “implied consent” for chemical testing. If you look closely at the DMV forms for a driver’s license you will find an implied consent clause.
Implied Consent states:
“All drivers operating on New Jersey roadways have agreed to submit to a breath test following an arrest for a drinking and driving offense.”
NJ Motor Vehicle Commission
The Traffic Stop
When arrested for a DWI in New Jersey, the law requires you to take a breath test when asked. Under NJ’s implied consent law, you must submit to a test if you are pulled over by an officer who has probable cause to believe you are driving intoxicated.
The purpose of the breath test, or the AlcoTest BAC test is to determine your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). A BAC of .08% or higher is considered driving while intoxicated in the State of New Jersey.
Refusing A Breath Test
If you refuse to take the test, a police officer cannot force you to. However, under implied consent, if you refuse the test, a cop has the right to arrest you on the spot. In the eyes of New Jersey state law, failure to submit to a breath test is a separate crime equivalent to a DUI.
The NJ Refusal Statute (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a) states that the court will revoke the right to operate a motor vehicle of anyone who is arrested for driving under the influence and refuses a breath test when requested to do so.
The full penalties for this can include, but are not limited to:
- Suspension of driver’s license for seven months to one year.
- Learn about the NJ License Restoration process.
- Fines ranging from $300 to $500, plus additional fines and fees.
- Up to 12 Hour Mandatory attendance of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
- New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commision (MVC) surcharges of $1,000 a year for three years
What Are My Legal Options Regarding Implied Consent?
Implied consent laws are constantly being challenged in the New Jersey court system. An experienced NJ DUI lawyer will fight to have these penalties dropped or reduced. The attorneys at Schneider Freiberger will carefully examine the details of your case, determining whether the police stop was legally carried out and whether they had probable cause to test you, among other factors. Contact us today to discuss your case.