DWI May Serve as Prior Conviction For Breath Test Refusal Sentencing

The New Jersey Supreme Court Justices, in State v. Frye, refused to overturn the conviction of a motorist who pleaded guilty to refusal and was sentenced with a 10-year license suspension based on two prior DWIs.

The Court stated that “If prior DWI convictions were not to enhance subsequent refusal sentences, it would be tactically advantageous for an individual to refuse a [breath] test.”

The New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled that prior drunken-driving convictions may enhance sentencing for refusal to submit to a breath test in New Jersey, even though prior refusals don’t count against future DWIs.

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