One of the scariest things that a motorist might face when being charged with drunken driving here in New Jersey is providing a breath sample for the police to determine one’s level of intoxication, namely the person’s blood-alcohol concentration or BAC. Having one’s future hang in the balance based on the results provided by a machine can be quite unnerving when a person begins to realize the potential consequences of a DWI conviction.
As far as the operation of a breathalyzer machine, such as the Alcotest 7710, when an individual blows into the device, a measurement is recorded by the machine — this can result in a “valid” blood-alcohol content (BAC) reading or simply an error message. The BAC measurement is then included in what is referred to as an Alcohol Influence Report or AIR.
If there is one silver lining in this entire process it is that the AIR is not susceptible to human manipulation. This is because the AIR is generated automatically by the Alcotest 7710 after the subject has provided a sufficient breath sample. As New Jersey DWI-DUI defense attorneys, the lawyers on my staff know that all tests conducted on this machine are recorded and maintained for approximately six months.
It is important to note that anyone accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol should be given a copy of the AIR following their release from police custody. In our experience as DWI trial lawyers, this rarely happens. In such instances, it may take the efforts of a lawyers to obtain the report after the fact so that he or she might know for certain what the official reading was for the accused’s BAC.
This is typically the case for almost every DWI-related arrest, though there are instances when an actual blood sample is taken, such as after an accident if the driver is taken to the hospital. Cases like this can happen more often than not, like the two drunk driving crashes that took place in Middletown, NJ, a while ago. According to news reports the back-to-back accidents occurred about 30 minutes apart on a late on a Monday afternoon.
The first collision, according to police reports, involved a Chevrolet Suburban SUV that struck a couple of utility poles and then some parked cars along a stretch of Rte 36 near Michigan Ave. The force of the initial impact apparently fractured the first pole into pieces, after which the truck continued a ways farther, smashing into several parked cars and then hitting a second utility pole at Rte 36 and York Rd. The 49-year old male driver was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for treatment and later arrested by police for drunken driving.
In the second episode, a 47-year-old local resident was charged with DWI after he reportedly lost control of his Ford Mustang as he headed westbound on a stretch of Woodland Drive near Twinbrooks Ave. Police reports indicated that the sports car hit a curb and then a telephone pole, causing the vehicle to roll over on its roof. Patrolmen charged the man with driving under the influence of alcohol as well as other traffic offenses.
UPDATE: DWI Charges in Two Accidents Monday Night in Middletown, Patch.com, March 6, 2013