The high-profile case of a Utah nurse who was arrested because she refused to allow police to draw blood from her patient has sparked an intense national dialogue regarding the legality of forced blood testing. The nurse in question refused to allow the blood draw because hospital policy stipulated that either patient consent or a warrant was required before such a draw could take place.
The Precipitating Accident
The accident that led to the controversy involved a high-speed police chase of a reckless driver. The erratic driver ultimately crossed the road’s center line and hit a truck head-on. The driver of the truck was badly burned and is the patient (whom police sought to draw blood from) in question. The fleeing driver died in the crash, and because the police routinely collect blood evidence in cases that involve a death, they sought the accident victim’s blood. The hospitalized victim has since died.
Police Force, Exigency, and the Right to Privacy
Dramatic videos from a police body cam have been released that intensify national concerns regarding police force, legal exigency (the pressing need to collect evidence without a warrant), and our right to privacy. The officer involved and the supervisor who supported his actions are now on leave as internal and criminal investigations continue. The two men could face disciplinary action.
If you choose to drive on New Jersey’s roads, you simultaneously provide your implied consent – if you’re stopped – to take a Breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). There is no implied consent, however, regarding a test that requires a blood draw.
New Jersey Blood Draws
Under the United States Supreme Court decision Missouri v. McNeely, law enforcement must obtain a warrant prior to drawing blood unless they can show that exigency exists to draw blood without a warrant.
The Utah blood-draw case has brought national attention to the factors of exigency and right to privacy. The case is remarkable for its dramatic details and for its videotaped evidence. If you’ve been charged with DWI in New Jersey, your rights matter – obtain experienced legal counsel.
If You’re Facing a New Jersey DWI, Call 732-662-7658 for a Free Consultation Today
New Jersey is serious about DWI charges. You have a lot to lose, but you also have important rights. New Jersey DWI law is complicated; you need an experienced DWI lawyer. Allow the Law Offices of Leon Matchin to aggressively advocate for your rights as we guide your case toward it most positive resolution. We’re here to help, so please give us a call at 732-662-7658 or contact us online today.