Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test in a School Zone in NJ

DWI in a School Zone Hamilton NJ

Everyone licensed to drive in the State of New Jersey offers implied consent to breath testing. Additionally, NJ prosecutors tend to place a priority on drunk driving offenses in school zones because the public generally demands that children be kept safe. As a result, anyone convicted of Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test in a School Zone is subject to severe penalties.

Trenton DUI Refusal Lawyers

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a well-respected law firm with a rich tradition in New Jersey. Our lawyers handle DWI and Refusal cases throughout Mercer County, including Hamilton, Lawrence, and East Windsor. We have a proven track record of success because we understand the nuances of New Jersey drunk driving law and provide clients with personalized attention. Call KCR today to discuss your DWI case.

Breath Test Refusal in a Mercer County School Zone

You can be charged with Refusal even if your refusal is not explicit; silence in response to a request to take a breath test is the same as outright refusal. This is because all drivers suspected of a DWI in New Jersey are required to clearly consent to breath testing.

Refusal in a School Zone is governed by N.J.S.A. 39:50.4a(b). When interpreting the statute, NJ courts and prosecutors typically define “school zone” broadly. This means that you might face Refusal in a School Zone charges even if weren’t driving anywhere near what one might typically consider a “school.” Additionally, school zone offenses can occur at any time of day. If your offense occurred after school hours – with no children present – you may still be charged with Refusal in a School Zone.

The requirements for this charge that the offense occurred:

  1. On any elementary or secondary school property
  2. Within 1,000 feet of elementary or secondary school property
  3. In an official school crossing
  4. In any area where juveniles were crossing

Penalties for Breath Test Refusal in a School Zone

School zone offenses typically result in penalties for a standard DWI offense or Refusal violation being doubled.

First Offense:

Second Offense:

  • License Suspension: 2–4 years
  • Fine: $1,000–$2,000
  • MVC Surcharges: $3,000 over 3 years
  • Alcohol Education: 12–48 hours of classes and treatment at the IDRC
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Mandatory installation on all vehicles for 1–3 years

Third Offense:

  • License Suspension: 20 years
  • Fine: $2,000
  • MVC Surcharges: $4,500 over 3 years
  • Alcohol Education: 12–48 hours of classes and treatment at the IDRC
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Mandatory installation on all vehicles for 1–3 years

It’s important to keep in mind that you can still be charged with a DWI even if you refuse to take a breath test. Beyond that, a sentence for Refusal may be imposed consecutively with any sentence for DWI.

Speak with Ewing DUI Attorneys

The DWI defense attorneys at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are prepared to fight your Refusal charges and help you maintain your driving privileges. Call us day or night to discuss your case over the phone, or email us to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Trenton or Pennington.

Contact Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson

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Let us help you navigate your legal challenges.
Call (609) 528-2596 or (215) 337-4915 or send us an email. We're here when you need us.