Scrutiny of Alcotest Proves Critical in Defending South Jersey Client
Not every defendant charged with DUI is convicted. We recently obtained an outright dismissal of a DUI charge for our client in Bellmawr Township Municipal Court.
In this case, our client was on his way home from dinner with his family when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident. When the New Jersey State Police arrived at the scene of the accident, the trooper claimed he smelled alcohol on our client’s breath. The trooper then asked our client to perform a series of field sobriety tests.
Critically, our client had been diagnosed with numerous medical conditions that significantly limited his ability to successfully perform the field sobriety tests. The trooper nevertheless administered three field sobriety tests and ultimately placed our client under arrest for DUI.
Upon arrival at the state barracks, the trooper administered the Alcotest breath test on our client. The Alcotest reading was above the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content (“BAC”) and our client was subsequently charged with DUI.
However, as always, our firm requested extensive discovery from the State. Upon review of the discovery, it was apparent that the Aloctest machine used to read our clients BAC was not working properly on the night of his arrest. We were able to prove, through a detailed analysis of the Alcohol Influence Report (“AIR”), that the Alcotest machine was “out of tolerance”.
Under State v. Chun, breath samples are only valid if the BAC readings produced are within acceptable tolerance. A complicated mathematical formula is utilized to determine if the reading is within an acceptable tolerance. This calculation relies on the infrared result (“IR”) and the electrochemical result (“EC”) of each breath sample to determine if the BAC is within an acceptable tolerance.
It was clear that the BAC readings recorded on the AIR were outside the range of acceptable tolerance after we performed this calculation. Consequently, the BAC readings were inadmissible and the State dismissed the DUI charge.
If you or a loved one needs strong representation in Bellmawr Township Municipal Court or any other municipal court in New Jersey, do not hesitate to contact the municipal court defense lawyers at DeMichele & DeMichele today. We are here to defend the charges against you. Contact us now for your confidential and free initial consultation. You can also reach us by telephone at (856) 546-1350. Don’t just plead guilty and risk your driving privilege or driving record.