CHEMICAL BLOOD TESTS IN DUI CASES

The US Supreme Court ruled in June of last year in the controversial Birchfield v North Dakota case. This case has very important implications on what police are allowed to do in the case of a DUI/DWI arrest. Specifically what kinds of tests the police are allowed to conduct on intoxicated drivers.

The Fourth Amendment was written to protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. It requires governmental searches to and seizures to be conducted with a warrant, issued by a judge only when probably cause exists. Searches and seizures not only applies to homes, cars, and places of business, but to a person's body as well.

In the case of a DUI arrest, the Supreme Court found that police must obtain a warrant in order to conduct a chemical blood test on an intoxicated driver. However, implied consent laws mean that they can ask for a driver to perform a chemical breath test at any time. Let's take a closer look at implied consent.

What Implied Consent Means for Your DUI Case

When you acquire a driver's license in New Jersey, you sign a waiver allowing for your breath to be tested any time a police officer determines there is enough circumstantial evidence present to justify the test. Circumstantial evidence includes slurred speech, an odor of alcohol in the car, visible empty containers of alcohol, and general demeanor. If an officer asks you to submit to a breath test, and you refuse, it is considered an admission of guilt, and you can be charged with a DUI/DWI.

While many people have argued that implied consent is a violation of a citizen's Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, the fact of the matter is that it is the law. If you have been charged with a DUI, or charged with refusing to submit to a breath test, it is highly recommended that you obtain -experienced legal counsel. Penalties for a DUI charge can be severe, even for first-time offenders. A Morris County DUI lawyer can help protect your rights and your freedom.

Whether or not you agree with implied consent, the US Supreme Court ruling is very clear. In order for a chemical blood test to be conducted on a driver arrested under charges of a DUI, the police must obtain a warrant.

Contact A Morris County, NJ DUI Lawyer Today

If you are currently facing a driving while intoxicated charge, or refusal to submit to a breath test, the law firm of Smith & Doran can help. We have extensive experience gathering evidence in any DUI arrest, and using this evidence to challenge the state's charges. Whether it be an improperly calibrated testing device, a police stop without probable cause, or a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, we are prepared to present the best possible defense for you.

To speak with a knowledgeable and experienced DUI/DWI attorney today, contact us online or through our Morristown offices at 973-261-6254.

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