Let me preface this article by saying that you should never drive under the influence, period. If you have a few drinks and get pulled over in New Jersey, be advised that the rules have changed. If you can’t or won’t produce sufficient volume for a breathalyzer, police can now charge you with refusal without a separate warning, and refusal carries penalties almost comparable to driving under the influence.
On May 26, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on the case of New Jersey versus Schmidt. Aaron P. Schmidt was stopped by Woolwich Township police for suspicion of DUI. After failing field sobriety tests, Mr. Schmidt was taken to police headquarters for a breathalyzer test; despite multiple attempts, he was unable to produce a volume of air sufficient for an accurate reading. After the third failed attempt, police charged him with the crime of refusal, and Schmidt fought the charge on the grounds that he wasn’t sufficiently advised of the refusal statute.
New Jersey’s Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that existing language was not ambiguous, and that consent for additional sobriety tests was given when Schmidt agreed to participate in the roadside evaluation. The ruling allows police to charge motorists suspected of DUI with refusal if they can’t produce a sufficient volume of air for a breath test, even without any ancillary advisory. Consider yourself warned if you live or drive in the Garden State, but better yet – just don’t drink and drive.
Source: The Truth About Cars