In accordance to New Jersey implied consent laws, refusing a breathalyzer test is illegal and will result in the same penalties as a DWI. While this is the case for the Alcotest, the blood test used to determine intoxication does not fall under the same rules. Although you cannot request to take a blood test over a breath test, you can legally refuse to take a blood test if the officer asks you to do so.
Blood tests are usually administered in situations where the driver cannot take a breath test, such as after an accident where the driver was injured.
If you do submit to a blood test and are charged with a DWI afterwards, there are many ways you can defend yourself and have your charges dropped. There are multiple ways you can challenge a DWI charge based on a blood test.
Unlike most states, New Jersey doesn’t have strict regulations when it comes to blood testing, however protocol should be followed. In order to be significant in court, the blood test must be conducted correctly by a professional licensed to do so. During the test, the technician must prepare a glass tube with the correct amount of anticoagulant and preservative. If there is an incorrect amount of either of these substances, the blood test can result in an inaccurate BAC. During the test itself, the technician must use a non-alcoholic wipe to clean the driver’s arm. Doing otherwise would drastically skew the results. The technician must then draw the blood and shake the tube to ensure the blood mixes with the preservatives. The blood must then be stored in a medically stable environment and be properly handled. The state must also maintain a chain of custody, recording anyone who handled the blood and where it was stored. If there are any issues with this procedure during your test, an experienced attorney can make a strong defense and have your charges dropped.
A blood test, which is much more accurate than a breath test, is concrete scientific evidence to convict you of a DWI, however the process itself can be muddled with errors that can help your defense. Along with procedural errors, factors that can help your case include:
- The blood became contaminated
- The tube was mislabeled
- The equipment was not properly maintained
- The test was administered a significantly long time after your were driving
- You were forced against your will or you were under the impression that you did not have a choice to take the blood test
- The officer did not have probable cause to test you
If you’ve been charged with a DWI on the basis of a blood test, contact the Law Offices of Jef Henninger, Esq. today. We have a seasoned team of DWI attorneys who will investigate and look into the details of your case and find the errors in your blood test. We’ll look into the arrest, the test, and the procedure to protect your rights and produce a formidable defense.