Have you or a family member been arrested for drunk driving here in Monmouth County, or anywhere else in the Garden State? Whether you live in Union, Atlantic or Morris County, you may be asking yourself, “Why should I even consider hiring a drunk driving defense attorney? And, is it really worth it now that I’ve been charged with DWI?”
Maybe you were stopped for a minor traffic infraction and the officer ended up arresting you for driving while intoxicated. Perhaps you received a summons at a local drunk driving roadblock after having performed a number of field sobriety tests. Or maybe you got a ticket for being intoxicated while sitting in your parked car.
Whatever the situation, you should ask yourself some important questions. For instance, were you actually drunk? Maybe yes, maybe no. Was being charged with drunken driving actually warranted under the circumstances? Perhaps yes, or then again, maybe not. As with most other aspects of the law, not all drunken driving cases are completely open and shut.
As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, I and my colleagues have counseled numerous clients who felt that they were unjustly accused. Although some may have broken the law, these individuals also understood the consequences and potential penalties associated with a DWI conviction. Wanting to improve the outcome of one’s DWI case is not so unusual.
We don’t worry so much about the people who seek us out, but we do share a concern for those motorists who choose not to speak with a qualified drunken driving defense lawyer. Some individuals believe that they deserved to be pulled over, or because the police have “positive” proof — via a breathalyzer or Alcotest machine — that it would be senseless to try and fight the charges. But this kind of thinking is just wrong. Everyone who is accused of breaking the law deserves to have their case heard in a court of law.
One of the main things that causes individuals to believe the state has solid evidence against them is embodied in the blood-alcohol content (BAC) breath or blood test results. But even with this kind of evidence in the hands of a prosecuting attorney, you need to be aware that “blowing” more than 0.08 percent BAC does not automatically mean you will be convicted for DWI. Never assume that because the breathalyzer registered a high BAC that you’re out of luck.
To explain, there are numerous factors that affect a person’s BAC reading. As such, there are also a number of other things that might cause a higher than normal breathalyzer measurement. I and my colleagues are all trained extensively in the operation and maintenance of the Alcotest device — each of us understands its operation and how a law enforcement office should use the device to measure a driver’s BAC.
For example, most people have no idea that a breath-testing machine can often mistake other chemicals for alcohol. In fact, it’s been proven that smokers have a greater chance of registering a higher than normal BAC reading due to the fact that certain chemicals in cigarettes affect the breathalyzer in a similar fashion to alcohol molecules.
Furthermore, burping, hiccupping or vomiting prior to being tested can cause the machine to register an incorrect BAC. In these cases, the device is affected by what experts call “mouth alcohol.” When a person burps or hiccups before the test, alcohol in their stomach can end up traveling up to their mouth; this can cause the machine to register a distorted BAC. In such instances, a breathalyzer can be confused by this mouth alcohol and what it designed to measuring — the amount of alcohol coming from your lungs.
These are just a couple examples of why it is always prudent to consult an experienced DWI defense attorney whenever one is charged with drunk driving. As any good lawyer knows, the consequences of a DWI conviction are far too serious not to fight for your day in court.