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What can happen to my commercial driver's license (CDL) if I refuse the breathalyzer in NJ?

Because of the nature of the vehicles being operated by a person with a CDL, certain charges are more serious than if it had been received while driving a non-commercial vehicle.

This is true of the consequences of refusing to give a breath sample if you are pulled over for a DWI while driving a commercial vehicle in New Jersey. Since you do not have the right to refuse to take the breathalyzer in New Jersey, there are some serious penalties.

Penalties Grow with Each Violation

For a first offense, you would be subject to the following:

  • Loss of basic driving privileges for two consecutive 6 month periods
  • Loss of your CDL for one to three years (mandatory three if you were transporting hazardous materials at the time or the vehicle was placarded for same).
  • You could be treated as a second offender if the refusal is in connection with a second or subsequent DWI.

For a second offense, you would be subject to the following:

  • Loss of basic driving privileges for two consecutive two year periods
  • Lifetime loss of your CDL. However, the law allows the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission to issue rules and regulations establishing guidelines and conditions under which it could be reduced to a period of not less than ten (10) years, so you should consult with an attorney on this.

The only good news is that the law is unclear as to whether the suspensions of the CDL and regular driver's license must be served separately or together.

So What Do I Do?

If you have a CDL and are pulled over for drunk driving in southern New Jersey, give my office a call at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site, for more information and a free consultation.

If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.

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