A recent article posted to NJ.com describes a recent dismissal of a DWI in Bayonne Municipal Court on July 15, 2014. The defendant, a Jersey City man, had been charged and arrested for DUI on Feb. 19 at around 2:45 p.m. at the corner of East 10th Street and Broadway. According to police, they found the man passed out with his foot on the brake while the car was still in gear to drive. Police also detected a strong smell of alcohol. Based on these observations the man was subsequently brought to the Bayonne Medical Center where his blood was drawn to figure out if his blood alcohol concentration was over the 0.08% limit.
The article is sparse and silent as to the exact reasons for the dismissal by the court but based on current case law I would surmise the court relied on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Missouri v. McNeely which clearly states that the potential destruction of evidence from the dissipation of alcohol in the defendant’s system does not rise to the level of exigency needed to perform a warrantless blood draw. In summary this means that the police cannot draw your blood unless they have a warrant or your consent. However, the New Jersey Appellate Division has just published a case which seems to fly in the face of McNeely’s ruling which should create some interesting litigation and arguments in the near future for New Jersey DWI cases involving blood draws.
For more information on the NJ.com article please visit here.