New Jersey Court Discusses Breath Test Results in DWI Cases

When the police suspect that a person is driving while intoxicated, they will often administer a breath test. If the machine used to conduct the test does not comply with the parameters defined by law, though, a DWI defendant may be able to argue that the results are inaccurate and should be suppressed. Recently, a New Jersey court issued an opinion in which it explained the requirements for proving a breath test was performed via a proper device, in a matter in which it affirmed the defendant’s conviction. If you are accused of a DWI offense, it is wise to meet with a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer to discuss your options for seeking a just result.

The Defendant’s Arrest

It is reported that the police were dispatched to investigate a collision. When they arrived at the scene of the accident, they determined the defendant had been driving one of the vehicles. When they spoke with him, they observed that he smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. They asked the defendant to submit to a field sobriety test, and he refused.

Allegedly, the defendant was arrested and charged with DWI. He was transported to the police station, where a breath test revealed his blood alcohol content to be 0.11%, which was over the legal limit. As such, he was charged with DWI. He was convicted as charged and then filed an appeal.

Determining Whether the Police Properly Administered a Breath Test

On appeal, the defendant argued that the State failed to demonstrate that the machine used to administer the breath test was functioning properly, as required to demonstrate there was evidence he committed a per se DWI violation. The court rejected the defendant’s argument. Specifically, the court found that the State demonstrated that the subject machine had been calibrated three months before the defendant’s arrest and provided multiple certificates demonstrating that the machine had been tested for accuracy.

Further, the State provided the defendant with documents regarding the software the machine used prior to trial, as required by New Jersey law. The court was not persuaded by the arguments set forth by the defendant’s expert that because the alcohol influence report did not indicate which two temperature probes were used during the defendant’s test, the defendant could not determine whether the probe was functioning properly at the time. Ultimately, the court found that the State produced sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the defendant committed a per se DWI violation. Thus, the appellate court affirmed the defendant’s conviction.

Speak to an Experienced New Jersey DWI Defense Attorney

Many people who are suspected of driving while intoxicated are asked to submit to a breath test, but in some instances, there are grounds for precluding the results of such tests at trial. If you are accused of a first offense DWI in New Jersey following a breath test, you should speak to an attorney to determine your rights. The experienced New Jersey DWI defense attorneys of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a good outcome, and if you hire use, we will fight tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact us through our form online or at 877-450-8301 to schedule a meeting.

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