Two local hotspots in Belmar are Bar A and Headliner. If you are pulled over by the Belmar police after leaving one of these clubs for suspicion of drunk driving you are required to submit to a breath test. By driving on our state’s roads, New Jersey drivers have provided their implied consent to submit to breath tests ordered by the Belmar police. Because you have given this implied consent, if you are stopped by law enforcement and ordered to take a breath test, you must do it. Otherwise, you will face a refusal charge under N.J.S.A. 39-4:50.2. Under New Jersey law, refusal is defined broadly. This means that an ambiguous, conditional response, or even silence may count as refusal.
A DWI defense attorney can help you with your refusal charges. The traffic defense attorneys at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. have handled countless DWI cases in the Ocean and Monmouth County areas for over 20 years. Our DWI defense attorneys are educated in the procedures that law enforcement must follow when administering a breath test. You have rights that must be defended. Contact Villani & DeLuca to begin mitigating the consequences of this legal hurdle.
N.J.S.A. 39-4:50.2 Refusal
The refusal statute in New Jersey states:
(a) Any person who operates a motor vehicle on any public road, street or highway or quasi-public area in this State shall be deemed to have given his consent to the taking of samples of his breath for the purpose of making chemical tests to determine the content of alcohol in his blood; provided, however, that the taking of samples is made in accordance with the provisions of this act and at the request of a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that such person has been operating a motor vehicle in violation of the provisions of R.S. 39:4-50.
(b) A record of the taking of any such sample, disclosing the date and time thereof, as well as the result of any chemical test, shall be made and a copy thereof, upon his request, shall be furnished or made available to the person so tested.
(c) In addition to the samples taken and tests made at the direction of a police officer hereunder, the person tested shall be permitted to have such samples taken and chemical tests of his breath, urine or blood made by a person or physician of his own selection.
(d) The police officer shall inform the person tested of his rights under subsections (b) and (c) of this section.
(e) No chemical test, as provided in this section, or specimen necessary thereto, may be made or taken forcibly and against physical resistance thereto by the defendant. The police officer shall, however, inform the person arrested of the consequences of refusing to submit to such test in accordance with section 2 of this amendatory and supplementary act. A standard statement, prepared by the director, shall be read by the police officer to the person under arrest.
Penalties for Refusal
Penalties for a first offense refusal include a fine up to $500 (up to $1,000 if in a school zone), $1,000 a year in surcharges, fees to the New Jersey Intoxicated Driver Resource Center Program, the Drunk Driving Fund, the Alcohol and Rehabilitation Fund, and the Neighborhood Services Fund. The driver will also have their license suspended for up to 1 year (up to 2 years if in a school zone).
For a second time refusal offense, the fines will be increased up to $1,000 (up to $2,000 if in a school zone). The surcharges will be increased to $1,000 a year for 3 years. Penalties for a second offense also include the fees listed above to the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center, the Drunk Driving Fund, the Alcohol and Rehabilitation Fund, and the Neighborhood Services fund. The license suspension will increase for up to 2 years, (up to 4 years if in a school zone).
A third time offense will lead to $1,000 in fines ($2,000 if in a school zone), $1,500 a year for 3 years in surcharges, and the fees listed above. Additionally, a third time offender will lose his or her driver’s license for 10 years (20 years if the violation happened in a school zone).
DWI Attorneys Near Belmar
It is clear that refusal charges carry harsh penalties and make a DWI charge that much more difficult to get through. If you have been charged with refusal, you will need a traffic defense attorney to help you through the municipal court process. The experienced traffic defense attorneys at Villani & DeLuca are here to help you understand how to handle your legal issues arising in Belmar. Our office is conveniently located just a short drive from Belmar in Point Pleasant Beach. Schedule your free consultation today!