Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, anyone who drives a car is deemed to consent to a chemical breath test. Thus, if a person stopped for suspicion of DWI refuses to submit to a test, he or she can face additional consequences. Police officers are required to inform DUI suspects of the potential consequences of refusing to submit to a blood test, by reading them a standard statement. Recently, the statement was called into question by a DWI defendant, who argued that the statement failed to advise her sufficiently of the consequences of her refusal. Upon review, a New Jersey appellate court ultimately rejected the defendant’s argument. If you are currently charged with a New Jersey DWI following your refusal to submit to a breath test, it is sensible to consult a proficient New Jersey DWI defense attorney to discuss these charges.
The Defendant’s Arrest
It is reported that the defendant was stopped by the police for multiple traffic violations and for suspected DWI. During the investigation, the police officer who stopped the defendant read her the standard statement regarding the consequences of refusing to submit to a chemical breath test, but the defendant refused nonetheless. She was charged with numerous offenses, including DWI and refusal to submit to a breath test, to which she entered guilty pleas, contingent upon her right to challenge the sufficiency of the standard statement on appeal. During her plea hearing, she stated that she had consumed alcohol before driving on the date of her arrest, but that she would have provided breath samples if she was informed of the minimum penalties for a first-time offense. The defendant was sentenced, after which she appealed.
Sufficiency of the Standard Statement Regarding Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test
Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, anyone who drives a motor vehicle on a public road is presumed to consent to provide samples of their breath for chemical testing if the person is suspected of DWI. Further, the law provides that the police must inform a person arrested on suspicion of DWI of the consequences of refusing to submit to a chemical breath test by reading a standard statement prepared by the chief administrator. The law also requires a person who refuses to submit to a breath test to be charged with a violation for refusing. Continue reading