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Refusal Penalties

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Stafford, NJ Refusal Penalties

The penalties for Refusal charges in New Jersey are severe and mirror the penalties associated with DWI convictions. Please read the following statute for your edification.

§ 39:4-50.4a. Refusal to submit to test; penalties

a. The municipal court shall order any person who, after being arrested for a violation of R.S.39:4-50 or section 1 of P.L.1992, c.189 (C.39:4-50.14), refuses to submit, upon request, to a test provided for in section 2 of P.L. 1966, c.142 (C.39:4-50.2):

(1) if the refusal was in connection with a first offense under this section, to forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State until the person installs an ignition interlock device in one motor vehicle owned, leased, or principally operated by the person, whichever the person most often operates, for the purpose of complying with the provisions of P.L.1999, c.417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.);

(2) if the refusal was in connection with a second offense under this section, to forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not less than one year or more than two years following the installation of an ignition interlock device in one motor vehicle owned, leased, or principally operated by the person, whichever the person most often operates, for the purpose of complying with the provisions of P.L.1999, c.417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.);

(3) if the refusal was in connection with a third or subsequent offense under this section, to forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of eight years following the installation of an ignition interlock device in one motor vehicle owned, leased, or principally operated by the person, whichever the person most often operates, for the purpose of complying with the provisions of P.L.1999, c.417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.). A conviction or administrative determination of a violation of a law of a substantially similar nature in another jurisdiction, regardless of whether that jurisdiction is a signatory to the Interstate Driver License Compact pursuant to P.L. 1966, c.73 (C.39:5D-1 et seq.), shall constitute a prior conviction under this section.

The municipal court shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that the person had been driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on the public highways or quasi-public areas of this State while the person was under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug or marijuana; whether the person was placed under arrest, if appropriate, and whether he refused to submit to the test upon request of the officer; and if these elements of the violation are not established, no conviction shall issue.

In addition to any other requirements provided by law, a person whose operator’s license is revoked for refusing to submit to a test shall be referred to an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center established by subsection (f) of R.S.39:4-50 and shall satisfy the same requirements of the center for refusal to submit to a test as provided for in section 2 of P.L. 1966, c.142 (C.39:4-50.2) in connection with a first, second, third or subsequent offense under this section that must be satisfied by a person convicted of a commensurate violation of this section, or be subject to the same penalties as such a person for failure to do so.

For a first offense, the revocation may be concurrent with or consecutive to any revocation imposed for a conviction under the provisions of R.S.39:4-50 arising out of the same incident. For a second or subsequent offense, the revocation shall be consecutive to any revocation imposed for a conviction under the provisions of R.S.39:4-50. In addition to issuing a revocation, the municipal court shall fine a person convicted under this section, a fine of not less than $300 or more than $500 for a first offense; a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for a second offense; and a fine of $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

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