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Can the Police Test my Blood when I am Arrested for a DUI?

Can the Police Test my Blood when I am Arrested for a DUI
Can the Police Test my Blood when I am Arrested for a DUI

Many drivers are unsure of their rights when they arrested for driving while intoxicated. Can I refuse a breath-test? Can I refuse a blood-test? These are common and important questions in DUI cases, and a US Supreme Court ruling from last June gives us a clear and definitive answer to these questions.

In the controversial Birchfield v North Dakota case, police charged Birchfield with refusing to submit to a blood alcohol contest test, specifically giving blood to be chemically tested. Birchfield challenged the constitutionality of having to provide blood samples for testing, specifically that it violated his Fourth Amendment rights.

The Fourth Amendment is the amendment which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. While it was written long before breath and blood testing was a possibility, the amendment has come to be a protection of not only your property and home from unreasonable searches and seizures, but your body as well.

In Birchfield v North Dakota, the US Supreme Court found that warrant-less blood testing was in fact, illegal, but that implied consent laws still allowed for warrant-less breath tests. This means that police cannot perform a blood test on you in the case of a DUI arrest unless they secure a warrant from a judge allowing them to do so.

Implied Consent in New Jersey

When you obtain a New Jersey’s driver’s license, you sign a waiver allowing for the police to perform breath tests on you without a warrant any time there is sufficient probably cause to do so. Probable cause includes slurred speech, general behavior, visible empty containers of alcohol in the car, or an odor of alcohol present. This is what is known as implied consent, by agreeing to the terms of obtaining a driver’s license, you are giving your consent for the police to perform these tests on you.

This means that if an officer asks you to submit to a breathalyzer test, you must either comply, or you can be arrested for driving under the influence by your mere refusal.

While implied consent remains controversial, the fact of the matter is that it is currently the law, and as such must be respected. If you are arrested for a DUI or refusal to submit to a breath test, your best option is to contact an experienced Monmouth County lawyer to help you fight the charges and the officer’s probable cause for your arrest.


Contact A Monmouth County, NJ DUI Lawyer Today

If you are currently facing a driving while intoxicated charge, or refusal to submit to a breath test, the West Long Branch law firm of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington can help. We understand how police collect evidence and present it against you in court, and we are prepared to contest this evidence and protect your rights. Whether it be an improperly calibrated testing device, a lack of probable cause, or a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, we are prepared to mount the strongest possible defense for you.

To speak with one of our experienced Red Bank DUI/DWI attorneys today, contact us online or through our West Long Branch offices at 732-440-3950.

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Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington of West Long Branch, New Jersey, provides representation throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Belmar, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Middletown, Neptune, Oakhurst, Ocean Township, Redbank, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, West Long Branch, and Freehold Township; Ocean County including Bayville, Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakewood Township, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River; Middlesex County including East Brunswick, Milltown, New Brunswick, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Spotswood.

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