Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in New Jersey is a serious offense. But the fact that you were arrested and charged does not always guarantee that you will be convicted. Your conviction depends on a number of things, from the strength of the evidence against you to the procedures used to gather it. If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI offense, you were probably subjected to at least one of the chemical tests police use to obtain evidence against drivers like you, such as a breath test, blood test or urine test. These methods vary in terms of their effectiveness depending on the circumstances of your arrest and testing procedures.
When Are Blood Tests Administered For DWI?
The administering of a blood test is not done very often because it is not necessary to determine the BAC in most DWI cases. A Breath tests usually provides an accurate reflection of a driver's blood alcohol content in lieu of a blood test. A blood test is required when a driver suffers from a condition that makes a breath test difficult or unreliable, or because police suspect he or she is under the influence of something other than alcohol. The police can not test for drugs with a breathalyzer and the only way to determine the toxicology of the accused is through a blood sample. Another reason for a blood draw is when a drivers is suspected of a DWI and was involved in auto accidents. When the accident victim is brought to the hospital they will have their blood drawn and examine for a BAC and drugs.
Potential Problems With Blood Test Evidence
Blood tests require meticulous procedures, and any departure from them may be used to successfully challenge the tests in court. Improper application of anticoagulant to a sample, for instance, may lead to an artificially elevated blood-alcohol reading. The same can happen if the wrong amount of preservative is used. Only properly certified lab technicians should draw the blood using sterile techniques and proper storage procedures. And the sample must pass through a carefully maintained “chain of evidence,” meaning the technicians, police and prosecutors must keep meticulous records of who has handled the evidence and ensure it never falls into the hands of anyone who isn't legally entitled to possess it as part of the case against you. Flaws in any of these steps will greatly strengthen your defense.
Use Of Urine Tests For Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs
It's unlikely you'll be asked to take the urine test if you're pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Police prefer the breath tests that they use in most cases if you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, urine tests may be used when the police believe a driver is under the influence of drugs. These substances will show up in blood and urine tests. If you have already taken the urine test after suspicion of driving under the influence, it will be important to know how the test was administered and what the results were. This is especially important if urine is used to measure alcohol content, since alcohol levels are inflated in urine. If the test was administered to detect drug use, it may paint an inaccurate picture of when the drug was taken, since some substances leave traces in the system for days or even weeks after use, most notably marijuana.
Common Urine Test Errors
If a urine test is used in detecting drugs or alcohol for a New Jersey driver, there are often many ways an experienced attorney can contest the results. The proper protocol must be followed during the administration of a urine test. For example, the defendant must be given some privacy while the officer conducting the test still ensures that the sample provided is accurate. Urine testing has been contested due to the problem with blood alcohol content (BAC) inflation. The concentration of alcohol in urine is approximately 1.33 times the concentration of alcohol in blood. As briefly mentioned above, urine tests are also suspect because it is impossible to determine when exactly a drug was used by an individual. Urine tests will show traces of previously ingested substances, but not the actual drugs. For example, a driver who smoked marijuana on Monday might test positive on Friday night when stopped on suspicion of DWI, days after any effects of the drug has worn off.