Implied Consent in New Jersey: What Drivers Need to Know
Getting a driver’s license is an exciting time. Going to the DMV, taking the driver’s test, getting the headshot picture, and walking out with a license to drive is invigorating. However, many drivers fail to understand some of the more important fine print and conditions that go in tandem with accepting a driver’s license in New Jersey, particularly when it comes to getting pulled over for suspected drunk driving.
What is “implied consent” in New Jersey?
States all across the country, including New Jersey, have passed laws that require drivers to give their “implied consent” to provide a chemical or breath test to check for their blood alcohol content, or BAC, if they are ever pulled over and arrested for drunk driving, or DWI.
Essentially, drivers in New Jersey are agreeing to this stipulation as a condition to getting a driver’s license-hence the reference “implied consent.” So, if officers have probable cause to arrest drivers pulled over for suspected drunk driving in New Jersey, drivers must agree to provide the test at the time they are arrested.
In New Jersey, drivers under the age of 21 cannot have a BAC of .02 percent or more while operating a motor vehicle. Those 21 years of age and older cannot drive with a BAC of .08 percent.
Refusal to give a breath test
If drivers refuse to provide a breath test if asked to do so when pulled over for suspected DWI, the penalties are severe-more so than the penalties assessed to drivers who do agree and provide a breath test. These penalties can include:
- A 7-month license suspension for first-time offenders
- A 2-year license suspension for second-time offenders
- A 10-year license suspension for third-time offenders
Also, depending on whether the DUI offense was the first, second or third, drivers could also be assessed hundreds of dollars in fines.
Further, these penalties are doubled for those driving on school grounds, through school crossing zones, or within 1000 feet of any school and refuse to take a breath test after being pulled over and arrested for DWI in New Jersey.
Additionally, drivers who refuse to submit to chemical tests in the state of New Jersey are subject to an automatic license suspension.
Other DUI penalties
Drivers facing New Jersey DUI charges, even those who provide consent and cooperate with authorities, still face an uphill battle. Jail time, fines, license suspension, and interlock ignition device requirements, among others, are all potential repercussions DUI offenders face. And they can be costly.
Many drivers will also see their auto insurance rates skyrocket and may have problems seeking future employment.
Seeking the help of an experienced attorney who can mitigate the potential consequences of a DUI is advised.