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When Can Police Conduct a Blood Alcohol Test in a New Jersey DUI?

when-can-police-conduct-a-blood-alcohol-test-in-a-new-jersey-duiThe police can pull you over for any visible violation of traffic laws, or with reasonable suspicion that you’ve either committed a crime or are in the process of doing so. However, what if police pull you over because of an equipment violation and then want to conduct a blood alcohol test? Suppose there’s no indication that you’ve been drinking and the police admit they didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary? Are there limits as to when a law enforcement officer can require a driver to submit to a blood alcohol test?

In New Jersey, the prevailing law requires a police officer to have one of two things in order to mandate that a driver submit to a blood test—the consent of the driver or a warrant. Physically drawing your blood has been ruled an invasion of privacy in New Jersey, and cannot be performed without a warrant or without consent.

In most instances, the police officer will ask you to submit to a blood test. You have the right to refuse, and that decision cannot be used against you in court as evidence of your guilt. However, you will face automatic suspension of all driving privileges. A better option is to take the test and try to contest the validity of the test.

If you can’t consent or are unconscious, the police officer cannot compel you to submit to a BAC exam. The officer may call a judge on the phone and seek to get a telephonic warrant, however.

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