Alcotest Calibration Scandal Could Lead to Over 20,000 New Jersey DWI Cases Being Tossed

Anyone charged with a DWI offense should understand the seriousness of the charge by seeking the help and guidance of a seasoned New Jersey DWI attorney. At our firm, we have defended many clients in their DWI cases and can defend you as well. With years of experience, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients at every step of the way.

A New Jersey state trooper’s failure to follow a step in the Alcotest calibration process has raised issues about the validity of subsequent breath test results. In a comprehensive report released by the state judiciary, retired Judge Joseph Lisa stated the improper conduct of a state trooper possibly undermined DWI convictions over an eight-year time frame. The findings could result in over 20,000 drunk driving cases being tossed out.

Last year, our blog covered the story about Sgt. Marc Dennis potentially improperly calibrating Alcotest devices. Shortly thereafter, Judge Lisa was appointed by the state Supreme Court to conduct hearings on cases handled by Dennis, a coordinator in the State Police Alcohol Drug Testing Unit, whose job entailed testing the accuracy of breath-test devices used by New Jersey Police. In 2016, it was alleged that Dennis lied on official documents about performing a legally required temperature check while calibrating three Alcotest devices, which are designed to measure the blood-alcohol level of allegedly intoxicated drivers.

Those at the Attorney General’s Office continue to claim that the step Dennis skipped was not scientifically compulsory. Judge Lisa’s report found that the state had not established by clear and convincing evidence that the skipped step did not undermine test results.

An individual drives drunk in New Jersey when they operate an automobile with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. The state relies on an accused driver’s BAC to establish intoxication in a drunk driving case. In each and every DWI case, the burden of proof is on the state to establish every element of the offense. We can examine every part of your case from the stop of the vehicle to your interactions with the police officer to the administration of the Alcotest to make sure everything was done properly, and none of your rights was violated. We know how to poke holes in the prosecution’s case when possible.

The consequences of a DWI conviction can be extremely serious, including the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, termination of employment, mandatory alcohol awareness classes, fines and fees, and even incarceration. Of course, your personal and professional reputation can also suffer greatly.

Have you been charged with a DWI? You need a skilled New Jersey drunk driving attorney on your side. Whether it is your first offense or a subsequent one, we understand how to protect your rights in these cases. We know that being charged can leave a person feeling anxious, stressed, and unsure of what to do next, which is why we are committed to helping our clients understand their legal options in these situations. For a free case evaluation, call us at 877-450-8301 or contact us online.

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