Urine Testing in New Jersey DWI Cases

test tubeWhen a driver is arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), police will conduct a chemical test to measure the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Urine testing is one chemical way that New Jersey police can determine whether a driver was over the legal alcohol limit while driving. Urine testing, however, can be highly inaccurate. If you or someone close to you is facing a DWI charge based on a urine test, our seasoned DWI attorneys may be able to challenge the results.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that more than 20 percent of the labs that process urine tests for the presence of drugs and alcohol have reported “false positives.” This means that about 20 percent of the labs reported the presence of drugs or alcohol in drug- or alcohol-free urine samples. BAC results in urine tests are typically inflated because the concentration of alcohol is approximately 1.33 times the concentration of alcohol in blood. Unsurprisingly, New Jersey courts consider urine testing the least scientifically reliable form of chemical test.

Under New Jersey law, the basic offense of a DWI consists of an individual operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater. It is important to note that even if your BAC is below 0.08 percent, you can still be convicted of a DWI if your ability to drive was impaired. Essentially, you should not get behind the wheel if your ability to drive has been negatively affected by any substance.

Drivers in New Jersey are not legally permitted to refuse a breath test. An individual who refuses a breath test will be subject to penalties that are quite similar to penalties for a DWI. With blood and urine tests, however, a driver is legally permitted to refuse to submit without any penalty.

Just because you have incriminating urine results does not automatically mean that you will be convicted of a DWI. Police officers must follow strict protocols in all forms of chemical testing. When it comes to urine tests, police officers must give the driver a reasonable amount of privacy and must instruct the driver to empty their bladder, wait 20 minutes, and then repeat the test. If the 20-minute rule is violated, the officer must restart the process. Once the urine sample is obtained, the police send it to the state lab for testing.

There are many instances in which you may be able to challenge the urine test results. For example, if the urine sample was not stored properly after testing, it may be too unreliable to be entered into evidence. Additionally, if the urine sample was missing for a while, or its whereabouts cannot be determined, it is highly likely that the results can be challenged. A strong defense attorney knows the potential inaccuracies that can arise in urine test cases.

If you or someone close to you has been charged with a DWI, it is imperative to consult a DWI attorney as soon as possible. Our firm understands the nuances of this area of the law and can apply our knowledge to your case. You can rest assured that we can examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest and build a defense accordingly. To discuss your case in more detail, call us at 877-450.8301 or contact us online.

More Blog Posts:

Underage DWI Penalties in New Jersey

A Closer Look at Field Sobriety Tests in New Jersey