Under New Jersey’s implied consent law, drivers are deemed to consent to submit to breath tests if they are stopped for suspicion of DWI. As such, if a driver declines to submit to a breath test, the driver can be charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test, which may result in suspension or revocation of the driver’s license. In a recent New Jersey case, a court discussed the State’s burden of proof in a case in which a defendant is charged with refusal to submit to chemical testing. If you are a resident of New Jersey currently accused of a DWI crime, it is prudent to confer with a New Jersey DWI defense attorney to assess what defenses you may be able to assert to protect your rights.
Factual and Procedural Background of the Case
Allegedly, the defendant lost control of his vehicle and left the roadway, driving into a pole. A police officer responded to the incident, and upon speaking with the defendant observed that the defendant smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, and diminished balance and speech. As such, the police officer requested that the defendant submit to a breath test. The defendant refused. He was subsequently charged with DWI, failure to maintain a lane, and refusal to submit to a chemical test.
It is reported that the defendant was convicted on all counts, after which he appealed. The defendant’s appeal was granted, and a new trial was ordered, after which he was found not guilty of DWI but guilty of refusal to submit to a chemical test and failure to maintain a lane. Following a second appeal, a new trial was held on the refusal to submit to a chemical test charge. The defendant was convicted and again appealed. Continue reading