Many New Jersey DWI convictions were supported, in part, by the results of chemical testing. In 2018, however, the New Jersey Supreme Court invalidated the results of breath tests in many cases. Thus, in cases where a defendant’s conviction is based on a breath test, the conviction may be void. Recently, the Superior Court of New Jersey analyzed whether observational evidence alone was sufficient to sustain a defendant’s conviction following the invalidation of the results of his breath test. If you are charged with a DWI offense in New Jersey, it is wise to consult a skillful New Jersey DWI defense attorney regarding what the State must prove to obtain a conviction.
Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Arrest
Reportedly, the defendant was stopped in December 2011 for traveling 19 miles over the speed limit. When the police officer approached the defendant’s vehicle, he noticed the defendant smelled of alcohol and had difficulty producing his license and registration. The officer then asked the defendant to submit to field sobriety testing. During the tests, the defendant raised one arm for balance, failed the walk and turn test, and was swaying while standing in place. He then admitted to consuming one shot and two beers.
It is reported that the defendant was charged with DWI. He was convicted based on both the officer’s observation of his behavior and the results of a breath test. The defendant appealed. Following his conviction, the New Jersey Supreme Court rendered breath tests invalid in many cases, including the defendant’s case. Thus, the sole issue on appeal was whether there was sufficient proof to support a conviction based on observational evidence. Continue reading