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NJ DWI-DUI Law: Refusal to Give A Blood Sample


by in Criminal Defense, DWI Defense

In a New Jersey DWI-DUI case, you do not have the right to refuse to take a breath test. However, under current law the refusal of a defendant to provide police with a blood sample during a DWI-DUI investigation does not constitute a crime under the criminal or motor vehicle laws.

In State v. Ravotto, 169 N.J. 227, the Supreme Court held that a good-faith fear of needles was a legitimate reason to refuse to give a blood sample. However, police may use “reasonable force” in obtaining the sample. The Court in Ravotto found that police had used excessive force under the facts of that case.

However, be warned that if a court finds that the refusal to give the blood sample was “self-serving” it may infer that the reason for the refusal was that the defendant in fact was driving while intoxicated. The same inference may be drawn when the defendant refuses to take the breath test.






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