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Can Police Take My Blood Without Consent? | Union County DWI Attorney

Can the Police Take Blood Without My Consent?

If you are pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey, the arresting officer will ask for a breath test or blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This is a key part of the case against you as it is the primary way of determining whether you have an unlawful level of alcohol in your blood. Blood tests are also used to determine the presence of drugs in your system if you are arrested for driving under the influence of a controlled substance (DUI).

You can refuse a breath test, and law enforcement cannot force you to take a breathalyzer. However, you do not have the right to refuse a blood test. You can try to refuse, but the police can transport you to a hospital to have a blood sample taken by a medical professional – against your will if necessary (State v. Ravotto, 169 N.J. 227, 2001).

There is another scenario where law enforcement may forcefully draw a blood sample. An extremely high BAC as measured by a breathalyzer may be confirmed by a blood test. A number of police departments in New Jersey have protocol that require drivers with very high BACs to have blood drawn and tested. Dangerously high BAC levels such as this can actually endanger the health of the driver, and law enforcement may be compelled to take a driver to the hospital for medical attention. At this time, they may seek a blood sample for testing.

It is important to note that, although a blood sample may be taken without your consent, it must be done properly to be admissible:

  • There must be probable cause to take the sample in the first place
  • The sample must be taken properly, by a medical professional
  • If the sample is taken against your will, it must be done so only by reasonable force

If you have more questions about DWI or DUI in New Jersey, our New Jersey DWI attorneys at the Cifrodello Law Offices can help. Call (732) 709-7406 today to discuss your rights and options.