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On Monday, July 10th, Patrolman Daniel Salvati was dispatched to investigate a report that a drunk driver had parked his car on Mead Avenue in Riverdale, NJ. Upon arriving to the scene, Salvati found the car empty, but spotted a clear container inside the car which later was discovered to contain alcohol. While on the scene, driver Stefano Mari, 41, of Mendham, returned to his parked car, reportedly smelling of alcohol and stumbling and dragging his feet.

Salvati arrested Mari after performing a field sobriety test, but Mari refused to enter the patrolman's police car, became verbally abusive, and refused to submit to a breath test. After restraining the driver, he was taken to a holding cell, and charged with a DWI, refusal to submit to a breath test, having an open container of alcohol in his car, consumption of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle, reckless driving, and disorderly conduct.

Following this, Mari called his girlfriend, 42-year-old Alexsandra Silvero, to pick him up from the police station. Upon arrival, police also noticed alcohol on her breath, and she admitted to drinking earlier in the day but claimed she was able to drive. No further information has been released regarding whether or not the girlfriend was also arrested for DWI or any other charges. To read more regarding this story, you can view the article here.

Understanding DWI and Breath Test Laws, Morris County DWI Attorneys

While certainly an amusing story, this story clearly demonstrates the seriousness with which New Jersey police take drunk driving. Not only was Mari arrested for DWI, he was also charged with a variety of other traffic offenses and criminal violations, most of which carry steep monetary penalties, potential jail time, and suspension of license.

The initial field sobriety test is the most common analysis for police officers to make a determination whether or not a driver is intoxicated. Field sobriety tests include actions such as standing on one leg, closing your eyes and tilting your head backwards for 30 seconds, walking in a straight line, touching your nose with your eyes closed, and following a moving object with your eyes. If the officer determines that a suspected drunk driver cannot pass these tests, they are allowed to make a DWI arrest, and administer an alcohol breath test. New Jersey drivers give consent to submit to breath tests when they obtain their driver's license, and refusal to submit to a breath test is its own charge, and may actually be more difficult for your Morris County DWI attorney to defend than if you had simply submitted to the test in the first place, even if you knew you would fail the test.

Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test Attorneys Parsippany, NJ

As we just mentioned, refusing to submit to a breath test after a DWI arrest is in and of itself a punishable offense, one which can often be more difficult to defend yourself from than taking the breath test and failing, as a refusal to submit to a breath test implies a knowledge of guilt. Penalties for refusing to take a breath test increase each time you are found guilty of doing so, and these penalties double should the offense occur on school grounds, a school crossing, or within 1,000 feet of a school. The penalties for a conviction of refusing to submit to a breath test are:

  • 1st Offense - License Suspension of 7 months, $300 - $500 fine
  • 2nd Offense - License Suspension of 2 years, $500 - $1,000 fine
  • 3rd Offense - License Suspension of 10 years, $1,000 fine.

Clearly, these penalties are to be taken extremely seriously, and it is highly recommended that if you have been charged with refusal to submit to a breath test, you retain the counsel of an experienced Morris County DWI attorney to help you mitigate the penalties and defend from improperly administered field sobriety tests or illegal arrests.

Contact Our Morris County DWI Attorneys Today

At The Law Office of Smith and Doran, our firm has extensive experience helping clients across Parsippany, Randolph, Roxbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area charged with drunk driving offenses of all kinds, including refusing to submit to a breath test.

We are extremely familiar with all of the intricacies of DWI laws, and we are prepared to implement a variety of DWI defense strategies depending on your specific circumstances. We understand that police often cross the line when it comes to making arrests, and will often use improperly maintained or calibrated devices when making their arrest, often leading to illegal or inaccurate DWI charges.

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of drugs, or refusal to submit to a breath test, our firm is ready to begin your defense today. To discuss your case today, please contact us online, or through our Morristown office at 973-532-2661.

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Smith & Gaynor, LLC
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
Fax: 973-292-9168
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