Blood draws in New Jersey DWI Cases
Phillipsburg DWI Defense Lawyers
In most Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”) cases in Warren and Sussex County, New Jersey, law enforcement will rely on an Alcotest machine to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content to determine whether or not a driver’s BAC is over the proscribed legal limit. But in certain cases, a driver may be physically unable to provide breath samples as the result of a motor vehicle accident or other circumstance. In those cases, the police will obtain a sample of the driver’s blood to determine the blood alcohol content. However, blood samples must be taken in strict accordance with search and seizure law and must also follow a recorded chain of custody in order to be admissible against the driver. In other words, there are many legal issues related to blood samples in DWI cases and if you are charged with a DWI in Hackettstown, Sparta, Phillipsburg, Andover, or Hopatcong and the police took a sample of your blood, the DWI defense team at our firm is ready to defend you. Contact our offices anytime for immediate assistance at 973-755-1695. The initial consultation is always provided at absolutely no cost to you.
Blood Testing in New Jersey DWI Cases and Prosecutions
Many blood draw cases come about after severe motor vehicle accidents because the driver is injured and transported directly to the hospital. This means that in such cases there is no opportunity for the police to administer a breath test to measure the BAC in cases where the driver is also suspected of driving while intoxicated (DWI). In these cases, the officers will ask the driver for consent to analyze a blood sample or, in the alternative, the driver is unconscious and unable to grant consent. If a driver is unable to knowingly and willingly provide consent for taking a blood sample, then the police must obtain a warrant before drawing blood and sending it to the lab. This brings about a grey area of when a driver is considered to be able to give valid consent versus when a warrant is required. Our DWI defense lawyers have won a number of cases where the police officers claimed our clients were able to give consent but the judge and the law disagreed. In those cases, the blood tests were thrown out and the cases were dismissed.
Another important issue related to blood samples in DWI cases is that blood must be drawn in a medically acceptable manner and then be handled, transported, and documented in a chain of custody. The point here is that the State must be able to demonstrate that the blood sample was not contaminated in any way while being drawn from the driver and while being transported to the laboratory. In addition, the nurse who drew the blood must appear and testify in court as to how the blood was drawn. In addition, the lab technician who tested the blood at the state police lab must also appear and testify as to the testing and the lab results. If either of these witnesses fail to appear in court or are unable to testify for any reason, the blood results can be suppressed and thrown out of court. In any event, there are many potential defense strategies that may be used when a driver is charged with driving while intoxicated and the State’s evidence includes a blood sample.
DWI Defense Lawyers in Sparta, New Jersey
If you were charged with a DWI in Sussex or Warren County and part of the State’s evidence against you is your own blood, contact us at 973-755-1695. Our experienced team of DWI defense lawyers have handled countless DWI matters throughout New Jersey and we are ready to fight for you today in Sussex or Warren County.