NJ Standard Refusal Warning to DWI Drivers
|The New Jersey Attorney General's office in 2004 issued a new directive to all Police Departments revising the standard DWI Refusal Statement. Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. Our office helps people with traffic/municipal court tickets throughout New Jersey, including drivers charged with driving while suspended and refusal. The following is important information on the DWI and Refusal laws.|
The Attorney General wrote: "Effective Monday, April 26, 2004, Governor James M. McGreevey signed Assembly Bill No. 2259, into law. This bill amends the penalties for refusing to submit to chemical breath testing, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a. The provisions in this bill became effective immediately upon adoption (A2259 [1R], §4).
With the adoption of this bill, it was necessary to have the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (formerly the Director, Division of Motor Vehicles) approve a revised Standard Statement for Operators of a Motor Vehicle, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2(e). The NJ MVC Chief Administrator approved that revision to become effective immediately upon the adoption of Assembly Bill No. 2259, First Reprint, into law. A copy of the revised Standard Statement for Operators of a Motor Vehicle is attached. It is also available, in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format, on the Division of Criminal Justice internet website at www.njdcj.org or at www.state.nj.us/lps/dcj, under the heading Attorney General Guidelines, DWI Enforcement, “NJ MVC Standard Refusal Statements.”
Accordingly, this Letter-Memorandum superseded the Letter-Memorandum dated January 22, 2004 entitled, “New DWI 0.08% Per Se Offense, Revised Standard Refusal Statement.”
Effective immediately ALL law enforcement officers in this State who place a person under arrest for a DWI violation (N.J.S.A. 39:4-50) are required to use the attached April 26, 2004 revised Standard Statement. Officers who place a person under arrest for a CDL/DWI violation (N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.13) or operating a vessel while intoxicated (OVWI) violation (N.J.S.A. 12:7-46) are to continue to use the Standard Statements for those offenses, as revised effective February 1, 2001. Please note, however, that the content of the Standard Statements cannot be altered or changed in any manner, and cannot be translated to any other language."
If the police officer reads an out dated statement, or does not read the statement "word for word", the refusal must be dismissed. The Appellate Division in State v Kayes reversed the Refusal where officer read outdated statement. State v. Kayes (App. Div. decided October 19, 2004). A-759-03T3, unreported
Convictions for refusing to submit to chemical tests and indecent exposure by urinating in public reversed; because the police officer read an outdated standardized refusal statement to the defendant, his conviction for refusing to submit to a chemical test was reversed; the officer's failure to sign the complaint did not require the dismissal of the urinating in public charge because the statute of limitations under the ordinance was one year and because the direction of the Municipal Court to the officer to sign the complaint cured the defect within the limitations period; however, the State failed to satisfy its burden of establishing indecent exposure or an act in a public place within the meaning of the ordinance where the defendant did not expose himself to anyone other than a consenting passenger in his car and where he had taken precautions to ensure that he would not be seen by pulling several feet off the road into a dark parking lot and by standing behind his car. Source: NJ Facts-on-Call Order No. 17186.
In 2001, the Attorney General previously issued a "Revised DMV Standard (Refusal) Statements". The Attorney General's Office wrote:
"In accordance with an amendment to N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a (P.L. 1999, c.185, §5) and to conform to a recommendation of the Supreme Court in State v. Widmaier, 157 N.J. 475, 498-499 (1999), the Standard Statements (commonly referred to as the "Refusal" statement), which must be read to every person arrested for a DWI violation under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, or for a DWI in a commercial motor vehicle violation under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:3-10.13, have been revised. These revisions, as adopted by the Acting Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, will become effective .........
In April, 2004, the Standard Statement was revised.
Driving Under Influence and other Motor vehicle violations can cost you. You will have to pay fines in court, or receive points on your driver's license. A conviction will require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. MVC [Division of Motor Vehicles] and have your license suspended. In New Jersey, the Judge does not have to rule that you were drunk. The prosecutor only needs to prove a driver was under the influence of alcohol. Don't give up! The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen offers information and can provide experienced attorney representation for Driving Under Influence and other Motor vehicle violations.