NJ DWI BREATHE-TEST WARNINGS

It has happened to many people; you get pulled over on the parkway, turnpike or some local road and an officer requests that you submit to a breathe-test for a possible DWI.

Currently in New Jersey a refusal to submit to a breathe-test can result in a license suspension for not less than seven months or more than one year unless the refusal was in connection with a second offense. Additional penalties for refusal to submit to a breathe-test can be found in N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a.

Previously, in State v. Tirado, the Court stated that even in a case in which a suspected drunken driver consented to take a breath test, the conviction should be thrown out if the state could not prove the driver had been read the statutory statement.

However, times have changed. Under the current ruling by the New Jersey Appeals Court in State v. Peralta, a police officer’s failure to read to a suspected drunken driver the statutory warning about the consequences of refusing to take a breath test doesn’t upset a conviction if the driver voluntarily agreed to take a breath test. The Court stated that “An officer’s failure to read the statutory statement is irrelevant when the accused submits to the test.”

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