Types of Verification Methods for Drugs and Alcohol in NJ DUI Investigations
When a New Jersey driver is pulled over for a suspected DWI, there are protocols officers must follow to test the driver for prior drug or alcohol consumption. If officers do not follow this protocol, evidence collected can be thrown out of court. If you’ve been arrested for driving while under the influence, you need a DWI attorney in order to ensure that your rights are protected, and all procedures were legally followed. Contact a member of our team of trained and experienced DWI lawyers at (908)-336-5008 today to discuss your DWI charge.
Tests That May Be Administered after a DWI Arrest in NJ
The three main chemical tests used to determine whether a driver has been operating a vehicle while over the legal limit of alcohol or while under the influence of illegal substances are breath tests, urine tests, and blood tests. One option is a breathalyzer test, which measures a person’s breath alcohol content, which accurately reflects the person’s blood alcohol concentration. New Jersey Implied Consent laws state that by operating a vehicle on the road, a driver is implicitly consenting to have a breath test to test alcohol levels. Refusal to take a breath test in New Jersey results in suspension of your driver’s license until an ignition interlock device is installed in your vehicle for between 9 and 15 months, and up to a fine of $500 for your first offense.
In New Jersey, only a breath test is included under the law of Implied Consent, and it is the most widely used by law enforcement officers on the scenes of DWI traffic stops or accidents. That being said, breath tests only capture breath alcohol levels and do not test for illegal substances. When law enforcement officers have reason to suspect that a person has engaged in illegal drugs, they can request a urine or blood test.
A urine test monitors for evidence of recent drug use. It can pick up a number of substances, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and prescription and over-the-counter medications, among others. Urine tests test for chemicals being expelled by the body through urine. This process of expulsion can take anywhere from hours to weeks. Notably, urine tests can become contaminated due to a number of substances. Some sources of contamination and unreliable urine tests include menstrual blood, concentrated urine, bacteria, chemicals, dilution, and even another person’s urine if urine is switched in an effort to cheat the system.
Because drugs appear in the bloodstream within minutes, blood tests for illegal substances are the most accurate tests. These toxicology tests are often expensive and are not often used. Law enforcement officers must obtain informed consent from a person to take a blood sample. Voluntary means that the person knows that they have a right to refuse a blood test and that, in the absence of their permission, the police must obtain a warrant. If the person is unconscious, they must obtain a warrant to take a blood sample unless they have probable cause or there is an emergency. It is important to keep in mind that there are numerous ways a blood sample can be compromised. The primary case is one in which the blood sample is mishandled. Additionally, the sample could touch a neutralizing substance, be stored incorrectly or for too long, or it could be mixed up with another test.
Benefits of Having an Attorney Review All of the Testing Evidence
Because of the high probability that there is some error in the procedure with which law enforcement officials took a breath, urine, or blood test or that there is some error in the testing procedure and results themselves, one must have proper legal analysis by a trained professional to review all test results pertaining to your DWI case. A skilled and experienced attorney will review all evidence to help you develop a solid defense.
Who to Call to Challenge the Results of the Test in Your DWI/DUI Case in NJ
If your test results for driving while impaired were compromised or illegally obtained, it is your legal right to contest them in court and have that evidence thrown out. Our team has decades of experience defending clients in Boonton, Denville, Parsippany, Dover, Rockaway, Long Hill Township, Montville, and Morris County neighboring areas in DWI cases in which law enforcement officers overstepped their legal duty, or did not fully advise the defendant of their rights, or those in which erroneous drug tests needed to be removed from evidence. When it comes to DWIs and their steep consequences, details matter, and the attorneys at our Morristown office are equipped to ensure that your rights are protected by doing the work for you in your defense. Speak with a lawyer right away by contacting us at (908)-336-5008. The consultation is available at no cost and we are happy to set up an appointment to meet with you at our office in Morristown.