Can police force you to take a breath, urine, or blood test?
Do I have to take the Alcotest?If you were pulled over and the police office believes that you may be driving while drunk, the office may take you to the police station and ask that you submit to a breath test, also known as the Alcotest. In New Jersey, there is a law that says that all drivers "shall be deemed to have given his consent to the taking of samples of his breath for the purpose of making chemical tests to determine the content of alcohol in his blood; provided, however, that the taking of samples is made in accordance with the provisions of this act and at the request of a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that such person has been operating a motor vehicle [while under the influence of alcohol]." N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2. So according to the law, the driver generally does not have the right to refuse to take the test. The law goes on to say that the officer must warn drivers that if they refuse to take the test, they will be ticketed for an additional violation.
Do I have to provide a urine or blood sample to the police?According to the current law in New Jersey, it is not unlawful for a person to refuse to submit to a blood or urine test, absent court order. Police often ask drivers to take these tests, but they generally do not advise them that they have the right to refuse the test. Normally, the police would need a warrant to obtain such samples. In fact, a recent United States Supreme Court case, Missouri v. McNeely, held that taking a person's blood or urine without consent amounted to a search, and under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the police would need a warrant or consent to take the samples.
Currently, legislators in New Jersey are attempting to avoid the ruling in McNeely and pass legislation making it unlawful to refuse to provide blood and urine samples. "We're closing a loophole so that the police will not have to get a warrant before taking a blood or urine sample," says one of the sponsors, Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer.