When you are stopped by police for suspicion of drinking and driving, the officer may ask you to submit to a field sobriety test or, based on observations, may ask you to take a chemical test. What happens if you refuse to take the test?
New Jersey has an implied consent law. That means that when you get behind the wheel, you consent to submit to a blood test if pulled over. The test must be administered at the time of your arrest. You cannot be compelled to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test.
If you refuse, you will automatically have your license suspended. The length of the suspension, though, will depend on how many times you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated. If it’s your first offense, the suspension will only be for a period of seven months. For a second offense, you will lose your right to drive for two years. For all subsequent convictions, you will have your license revoked for 10 years.
It’s almost never in your best interests to refuse to take a blood-alcohol test. Police can rely on other types of evidence to obtain a conviction and, if you are convicted after having refused the blood test, the penalties will be even more severe.
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