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Chemical Testing for DUI in New Jersey

New Jersey motorists who are arrested for drunk driving are required to submit to chemical testing of their breath, blood or urine to determine blood alcohol content. Breath testing machines must be maintained and kept up to date to ensure accuracy. The police officer operating the machine must also be properly qualified to conduct the testing.

In order to properly conduct a blood test, a technician must draw the sample into a glass tube with white powder in the bottom consisting of anticoagulant and a preservative.  If the tube does not contain the proper amount of anticoagulant, the blood will clot and may register an inaccurately high BAC. Also, if the amount of preservative in the sample is incorrect the blood can ferment, creating alcohol. Thus, independent testing, which you are entitled to, can reveal these errors. Further, blood samples should only be drawn by certified medical personnel. The blood sample must be thoroughly shaken to distribute the anticoagulant and the preservative and the sample must be stored in a controlled environment to be correctly preserved.

Further, while you are required to submit to chemical testing under New Jersey’s implied consent law, there is no offense for refusing to take a blood test. Refusal charges only apply to breath testing in New Jersey.  Thus, if the police improperly subjected you to a blood test by force, or if the proper protocol was not followed, the evidence from your blood test results may be excluded from trial.

Urine testing is typically only used when you are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs. Certain procedures must be followed while administering a urine test. You must be given a certain amount of privacy while still ensuring the accuracy of the sample. The police should also inform you to empty your bladder, wait ten minutes and then go again.

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