New Jersey DWI Breath Testing
DWI laws across the United States have become increasingly tough over the years, and this is certainly true in New Jersey. Drivers within the state should therefore educate themselves on these laws to avoid lengthy license suspensions, heavy fines, and jail time.
If you are facing a DWI charge in this state, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced DWI attorney who is familiar with New Jersey laws. A qualified lawyer is the only person who can properly advise you on a defense for your case, and give you the best chance of reducing the penalties you are facing.
Below is some essential information on what to do if you are arrested and charged with DUI in New Jersey.
In New Jersey, there are two types of breath tests that you can be requested to take if a police officer suspects that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol.
Portable Breath Test
The first type of test is known as a Portable Breath Test or PBT. This device is carried in patrol cars while in the field. These tests are voluntary and you may refuse to blow into the device during a roadside stop. In fact, most DWI attorneys will recommend that you politely decline this test. It is well-known that PBTs are unreliable and give false-positive results, even when a person has not drunk alcohol. However, it should be noted that even without the results of a PBT, an officer can arrest you for a DWI, if they have probable cause through observations of other indicia of drinking. For example, indications of intoxication may include the smell alcohol on your person or in your car, failing to use turn signals, headlights were off at night, bloodshot or glassy eyes, or fumbling while retrieving your driver’s license and registration. Also, by refusing a PBT, an officer may feel that you have something to hide and may become more suspicious that you are driving under the influence.
Breath Test at the Station
New Jersey law states that you must submit to a breath test in the police station if there existed reasonable grounds to arrest you for a DWI. The device used for breath testing is the Alcotest 7110 MKiii-c. If you refuse to provide a breath sample, then you will be in danger of losing your driving privileges for as long as one year. You may also be forced to pay $1000 in insurance surcharges to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission every year for three years.
Most DWI attorneys will therefore advise you to comply with the station breath testing, as they may be able to have the charges against you reduced to a lesser charge of reckless driving. With a reckless driving charge, the lawyer has a better chance of ensuring your license is suspended for a shorter period of time. More important, you will not have a DWI permanently on your driving record.