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Breath Testing in NJ DWI Cases

On Behalf of | May 17, 2020 | Criminal Law |

Drivers charged with DWI can be found to be “intoxicated” under New Jersey law if they appear to be drunk or if a test shows their Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) is .08% or higher. The severity of the DWI sentence can also be affected by how much alcohol is detected from the test. Refusal to supply a breath sample would also result in an additional, separate charge  with additional suspension of driving privileges, fines and other penalties.

Should I Provide a Breath Sample?

We are always asked if you should provide a breath sample when requested by a police officer. The answer is not always easy, as it depends on the circumstances, especially today with health concerns about transmittal of the covid-19 virus.

What is clear is that a breath sample, while required by New Jersey law, can only be required by police 1.)after the driver has been arrested, 2.)when “probable cause” can be shown that the driver operated a vehicle under the influence and 3.) a statement is read to the driver informing them that a breath sample is required by law and that the driver can obtain an independent test after the police breath test is administered.

Can I Be Forced to Provide a Sample?

You should also know that no one can force you to provide a breath sample. The law, however, says that your consent is “implied” for a breath test. Your failure to provide a breath sample, then can result in a separate Refusal violation.

Can I Call My Lawyer Before Giving a Sample?

New Jersey Law does NOT allow you to call an attorney or anyone else before agreeing to provide a breath sample after arrest. In fact, courts have held that delay in providing a breath sample will amount to a violation of the Refusal statute.

Must I Also Provide a Sample of Blood or Urine in NJ?

Blood Alcohol Content can also be determined from a test of blood or urine. New Jersey law however, does NOT require that you to provide a blood or urine sample. Before a sample can be taken, you must agree to give the blood or urine. If you do not consent, then a Judge must order that a sample be taken and then only after determining “probable cause” that a violation occured.  If you refuse to provide blood or urine then, no violation for Refusal would exist.

If you have been charged with a DUI or if you have been cited for refusing to consent to a breathalyzer test, your first course of action should be to get an attorney. An attorney can help you to understand the consequences that you may be facing as a result of a breach of implied consent, as well as navigate the charges against you and build your defense.

At the office of Lomurro Law, our attorneys understand the effect that a DUI can have on your life. To protect your rights and to mitigate the worst consequences, call a lawyer who is experienced and who cares about fighting for you.

You can reach the office of Lomurro Law and our aggressive New Jersey DUI lawyers online or by phone to set up a meeting.