If you have ever been pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you know that it can be a scary experience. Due to the stress of this situation, you may not be thinking straight. As a result, you may think it is best to comply with everything the police officer asks you to do. However, doing so may not always be in your best interest.
A question that often comes up about DUI stops is whether a person has to take the portable breath test administered roadside during the traffic stop. In New Jersey, you are not legally required to submit to the portable breath test. If you refuse to take the test, you cannot be charged with refusing to submit to a chemical test. Unfortunately, police officers do not always inform motorists of their right to refuse the test.
However, refusing to take the portable breath test does not mean that you cannot be arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. If from his or her observations, the officer believes you to be intoxicated, you may be arrested.
If you are arrested, you will be transported to the police station and asked to submit to an evidentiary breath test there. It is important to note that you must submit to this breath test in order to avoid violating New Jersey’s implied consent law. Violators face automatic license suspension and heavy fines. Additionally, your refusal of the breath test does prevent you from being prosecuted for DUI. In fact, the refusal may be used against you.
Because of what is at stake if you are charged with DUI, it is important to seek experienced legal advice as soon as possible. An attorney can assess the case against you and work on your behalf to obtain the best possible outcome.