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What Are the Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test?

It is important to know that the consequences of a refusal to take a breathalyzer test can be just as severe as a DWI charge. That is why if you were charged, you will need to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney about the specifics of your case and your options.

What is the New Jersey breath test refusal law?

The state of New Jersey requires that those who obtain their driver’s licenses provide their implied consent to submit a chemical test in the event that it is required by law enforcement. In exchange for the right to drive, drivers will agree to submit to chemical testing under “implied consent” which creates an agreement between drivers and the state of New Jersey. To be clear, chemical tests include breath, urine, and blood samples. Drivers are required to submit a breathalyzer test under state law if they are arrested for a DWI offense.

If you have been caught by a police officer with suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol, it is highly likely that you will be asked to take a breath test.

What can happen if I refuse to submit to a breath test in New Jersey?

You will be charged with penalties if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test after being told to by a law enforcement officer. New Jersey will categorize any of the following actions as a “refusal:”

  • An explicit refusal
  • Silence
  • A response that is ambiguous or conditions
  • Any response that does not explicitly agree to a breathalyzer

Additionally, even if you do not submit a breathalyzer test, you can still be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. It is also important to note that you do not have the right to have an attorney present during the execution of a breathalyzer test in New Jersey.

It is crucial that you hire the services of a skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney who has the experience and knowledge required to manage these charges and penalties. If you were charged because you refused to submit a breathalyzer test, you will likely be facing similar penalties as a DWI charge. Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today to learn more about our services and how our legal team can fight for you and your future.


Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.

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