Over 20,000 New Jersey DWI Convictions May Have been Based on Faulty Alcotests

Being charged with a DWI is a daunting experience. If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey, you need to reach out to a skilled New Jersey DWI attorney without delay. A DWI conviction can negatively affect many aspects of your future, so it is important to get legal help quickly. While this is an extremely stressful time, it is important to remember that you have rights. Just because you have been charged does not necessarily mean you are guilty. Our team will protect your rights at every step of the way.

Last month, a letter went out to individuals who were arrested for drunk driving between 2008 and 2016 in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, or Union Counties. The letter was to inform these individuals that there might have been a problem with their DWI proceedings. It was prompted by the discovery that State Police Sgt. Marc Dennis, a former coordinator in the Alcohol Drug Testing Unit, may have been improperly calibrating Alcotest devices, which are used to check the blood-alcohol level of persons suspected of drunk driving. Specifically, he allegedly skipped setting the temperature at 100 degrees. If that temperature is off, the results can be inaccurate. The possible error calls into question all of the calibrations performed by Sergeant Dennis over the course of his career. The letter tells those charged with DWI that a specially appointed judge would weigh whether they are entitled to relief.

The Alcotest has been the standard for DWI detection in New Jersey for quite some time. It is a handheld breath alcohol-measuring device and is the successor instrument to the Breathalyzer. Police officers use the Alcotest to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). A person commits a DWI in New Jersey when he or she operates a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. Prosecutors rely on a defendant’s BAC to establish that the driver was driving while intoxicated. The burden of proof in all New Jersey DWI cases is on the state.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that Alcotest results are reliable and admissible in court. However, this does not mean that you can’t challenge the results of your Alcotest. As highlighted in the story above, the machine could have been calibrated improperly. In addition, there may have been other errors with the use of the machine that affected the result. We can thoroughly examine the facts of your case and raise any issues with the prosecution’s case, including the Alcotest results.

If you have been charged with a DWI after failing a breath test, you need to reach out to a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney as soon as possible. With years of experience, we understand the variety of errors that can occur with Alcotest machines. You can rest assured that we can analyze the facts of your arrest and build a strong defense in your case. To learn more about how we can help, call us at 877-450-8301 or contact us online.

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