Friday, November 9, 2012
Must You Provide A Urine Sample in A NJ DUI Arrest?
On July 2, 2012 the New Jersey Appellate Court heard the case of State v. Verpent (A-3807-10T4). Verpent was found guilty of DUI and challenged the failure of Bergen County Superior Court Judge Jerejian to suppress the lab results from his urine sample. The Appellate Division upheld prior cases requiring the submission of urine and its use in proving Driving Under the Influence Cases. Once an officer's observations lead to a conclusion that an individual is under the influence of intoxicants, the officer may request the performance of field sobriety testing in the event that the officer believes the individual may safely perform the tests. If the field sobriety tests provide further evidence of intoxication, the individual will be asked to provide a breath sample into an Alcotest device. If the individual's blood alcohol level (BAC) is under the legal limit or non-existent and the officer believes drugs may be causing the inability to perform tests, a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) will then perform further testing along with obtaining urine and sometimes blood samples from the accused. N.J.S. 39:4-50.2(a) requires all drivers to consent to submission of urine and blood samples upon an officer's request. Although defendant challenged the taking of his urine without a warrant, the Court held that the officer's observations gave rise to probable cause to arrest and exigent circumstances justifying taking of a urine sample without a warrant under the theory that delay could result in "destruction of evidence." Although urine screens are not always accurate and the results are subject to challenge, the NJ courts have long required defendants in driving while intoxicated matters to provide urine specimens and there is "no federal constitutional right to prevent being required to giving a urine sample". State v. Malik (534 A.2d 27 (App. Div. 1987) DUI/DWI in New Jersey is not taken lightly and if you are arrested for these charges you should seek an experienced attorney to assist you in your defense. Selecting an attorney who knows your rights and is able to avoid a conviction based on mistakes by officers in their attempt to prove your guilt is the difference between keeping or losing your license, as well as a host of other problems that come with a refusal conviction in NJ. If you are charged with DUI contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights. For more information on Driving Under the Influence or other serious municipal court/traffic matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter.