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What is a breathalyzer test?

A Breathalyzer test is used to measure one’s BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content, through their breath. A BAC is the percentage of alcohol that is in their blood stream. In Massachusetts and most states, the legal BAC level is .08%, for those who are under the age of 21, it is .02%.

A police officer must ask for your consent before having you take a Breathalyzer test. You are allowed to refuse the test, but a police officer can request a warrant to have you tested. However, if the officer does not go to a judge requesting for a warrant, that does not necessarily mean that you are off the hook either.

If you still have a DWI charge against you, you will still have to go to court, and unfortunately, the lawyer can use your refusal against you. Also, there is a fine that ranges from $300 to $500 with a 7 month license suspension for first timers, two years for second offenders, and ten years of suspension if it is your 3rd offense.

While the fine and license suspension for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test may be alarming, those who are convicted of a DWI have it even worse. Below is a table that ranges from first offenses to third with possible fines, jail time, and license revocation.  

 

 

 

Jail

Fine

License Suspension

1st Offense

Up to 30 Days

$250-$500

3 months to 1 year

2nd Offense

Up to 90 Days

$500-$1,000

2 years

3rd Offense

Up to 180 Days

$1,000

10 years

 

Sources:

http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/dui-refusal-blood-breath-urine-test/new-jersey.htm

http://dui.drivinglaws.org/jersey.php

 

 

Joseph M. Ghabour
Auto, Bus, Pedestrian, Motorcycle accident, medical malpractice and worker's compensation attorney.

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