What Does it Mean to Be Cited for a Refusal and What Are the Penalties?

In the state of New Jersey, the police can cite a driver for refusing to take the Alcotest. It’s important to note that in the state of New Jersey, unlike neighboring states, DUI and refusal are not considered criminal offenses. You have an obligation as a holder of a New Jersey license to take the Alcotest. Those who hold a NJ license are considered to be privileged to have a New Jersey driver’s license, and at the time that you get a driver’s license, you essentially agree to comply with the state of New Jersey and police officers in the event that you are pulled over for a DUI. In the event that you are pulled over for a DUI, taken to the station, and an Alcotest is administered or an Alcotest is offered to be administered to you, it’s imperative that you cooperate with the police in giving breath samples.

If you refuse to take the Alcotest, you will not only be cited for DUI, but also for refusal, which is a separate offense carrying very similar penalties to the DUI itself. What’s important to know is that if you are convicted of both of those offenses, the penalties can essentially be doubled. Not only would you be looking at a seven month loss of license for the DUI, you would now be looking at an additional seven month loss of license for a refusal. In New Jersey, the police are required to read what they call a standard statement. It’s essential that’s read to you and you agree to take the Alcotest.

If you don’t take the Alcotest, they will write you a refusal and there are almost no defenses that you can raise that will get you out of the refusal in that case. It’s essential that you cooperate with the police in terms of taking the Alcotest and that, if you are charged with a refusal or a DUI, you consult with an attorney who practices DUI in the state of New Jersey. It is unique to New Jersey and only a skilled attorney will be able to help you in terms of offering defenses to your case.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced criminal defense attorneys throughout the state of New Jersey. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding DUI related charges and procedures.