If you’re facing a DUI/DWI charge in New Jersey, it can be overwhelming. It may seem like the evidence against you is insurmountable. But there’s no need to be intimidated. With the help of an experienced East Windsor NJ DUI/DWI attorney, you can challenge breathalyzer test results.
In this article, we discuss five ways you can fight DUI/DWI charges. At Samuel Louis Sachs Esq, LLC, we know what it takes to challenge your breathalyzer test results. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
Understanding New Jersey Breathalyzer Tests
Police who suspect you of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI) will take certain actions. They’ll pull you over and administer a test at a roadside stop to confirm their reasonable suspicion of a DUI/DWI.
In New Jersey, Portable Breath Test (PBT) devices are commonly used for this purpose and not as proof of DUI/DWI. PBT results are unreliable. So, it is best to decline to take a PBT if the officer requests you do so.
In New Jersey, the Alcotest 7110, commonly called a “breathalyzer”, is used by police to determine blood alcohol content (BAC). The test is usually administered at a police station and is more reliable than a PBT. So, you should only refuse the test if you don’t mind being found guilty of DUI/DWI.
5 Ways to Challenge Breathalyzer Test Results in New Jersey
There are obvious reasons why you may want to fight DUI/DWI charges. DUI/DWI convictions can have serious consequences. A first offense can result in a driver’s license suspension for one year. Subsequent offenses carry heavier penalties.
An experienced East Windsor DUI/DWI attorney can help you challenge your breathalyzer test results in court. Below are five potential errors that they will want to use to help you fight your DUI/DWI charge:
1. Improper Machine Certification and Calibration
The validity of your breath test results could be challenged if the machine used was not properly certified or calibrated. These machines need regular maintenance and inspections to function accurately. So they must undergo monthly inspection by a professional who issues a certificate to properly-functioning machines. They also need to be regularly calibrated by the police.
The machine’s certification and calibration records should be made available as evidence in your DUI/DWI case. If law enforcement does not produce them, the court may throw out your breath test results.
2. Unqualified or Uncertified Officer
Your breath test results could be inadmissible as evidence if the officer administering the test was not qualified or certified. The results are only admissible if the officer has received proper training and licensing to administer the particular breath test device. Insufficient training or an expired license could lead to unreliable breath test results.
3. Faulty Breath Test Administration and Sample Storage
New Jersey police are subject to a number of strict procedural requirements. If an officer fails to abide by any of these, the court could view your breath test results as unreliable.
One rule police often forget is the requirement that they administer the test after continuously observing you for 20 minutes. Other common oversights are the failure to replace the device’s mouthpiece and provide proper instructions before taking a sample. The police lab could also fail to properly store your breath sample.
4. Illegal Stop With No Reasonable Grounds
Police must have a legal basis for pulling you over for your breath test results to be admissible in court. They need to have reasonable suspicion for stopping you.
In addition, police in New Jersey need reasonable grounds to suspect you of DUI/DWI. New Jersey’s “implied consent” law prohibits the police from stopping you without proper justification.
5. False Positives
You could simply be the victim of a “false positive” reading from a breath test. The breath test could have suffered contamination from forms of alcohol in other things you ingested. This includes asthma medication, cold medicines, fingernail polish, and mouthwash. You could also have eaten foods or held your breath prior to blowing. These could render your breath test results unreliable.
A DUI/DWI Attorney Can Help You Challenge Breathalyzer Test Results in Court
If you are facing DUI/DWI charges, we can help. At Samuel Louis Sachs Esq. LLC, we know how to challenge breathalyzer test results in New Jersey. Contact us today for more information.