In New Jersey the breath test equipment used by the police to determine an individual's blood alcohol content is highly regulated by the state. The Supreme Court of New Jersey has established high standards, as well as strict procedural guidelines, that must be followed by any law enforcement officer prior to admitting DWI breath test results into evidence during a court proceeding. This places the burden upon the police and prosecution to ensure that the breath test procedures were followed accordingly. However, without a knowledgeable DWI lawyer by your side, it is unlikely that you will pick up on any mistakes on your own. Few people can tell whether or not their DWI breath tests were properly conducted. That being said, it is possible that some individuals with DWI convictions are serving higher sentences than they deserve.
The Dräger Alcotest® 7110 Breathalyzer
Due to the strenuous regulations and procedures regarding the New Jersey breath testing system, there is room for error when operating the Dräger Alcotest® 7110. This sophisticated Breathalyzer device is used by the majority of New Jersey municipality in determining the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of a suspect. It is required that police departments throughout the state maintain and ensure effective calibration of the device in order for the results to be admissible in court. In questioning the accuracy of the results, attorneys at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. will attempt to discredit the procedures used in administering the test. Any discrepancy at all, such as failure to calibrate the device properly, the officer forgetting to change the device's mouth piece or their failure to strictly observe the individual taking the test for a period of 20 minutes prior to testing, may result in the exclusion of your BAC reading or even the dismissal of your charge.
The DWI attorneys at Villani & DeLuca, P.C., located in Ocean County, New Jersey, are trained and certified in New Jersey's complex breath testing equipment, the Dräger Alcotest® 7110. This device is extremely sensitive and complicated to maintain, calibrate and administer properly.
The officer giving the test must be certified to operate the Alcotest® device. In the event that the police department that performed the Alcotest® on the defendant cannot provide documentation of the operating officer's certification, an attorney can challenge the procedures and move to have the breath test results suppressed. An experienced DWI trial attorney will also request all maintenance records of the Alcotest® equipment. If it has not been properly maintained, or if the device has a malfunction history, the attorney can challenge the validity of the results and ask that they not be allowed in court.
20 Minute Observation
An officer is required to observe a suspect for a period of 20 minutes prior to administering the Alcotest® breath tests. This is to ensure the individual doesn't vomit, burp or ingest anything that could affect the results of the sample. Noncompliance with this rule can alter the breath test results by causing an inaccurate reading. Failure to carefully monitor the suspect for 20 minutes prior to collecting breath samples may be enough to suppress the breath test results collected.
Other Breath Test Operation Concerns
The Alcotest® device is also required to have a new, sanitary mouthpiece applied prior to each sample collected. If an individual is given his or her second breath test without a new mouthpiece, the results can be contaminated and therefore be inadmissible in court.
Breath Test Challenges In New Jersey
There are three types of chemical tests the police can use to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) of those accused of DWI. The three types of tests are breath, blood and urine; the breath test is the most common test used. There are external factors that could cause you to fail a Breathalyzer test. Many breath tests are thrown off by medical conditions and the person administering the breath test should ask whether you have any medical condition that could affect the results. The breath of a diabetics can trigger a false positive on Breathalyzer results. Also, those suffering from GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) can register an extremely high positive due to the alcohol vapors coming up from their stomach. Another key factor any good defense attorney will consider is whether you were on medications at the time of the arrest. A number of medications, prescription and over-the-counter, can influence your performance on these tests. Asthma inhalers, for example, can lead to false breathalyzer results, as can cough syrup and cold medications, particularly if they were taken shortly before the test.
Consult With A NJ DWI Attorney Immediately
It is impossible to have a DWI case dismissed or receive a reduced penalty if the defendant's own reluctance prevents them from even trying. If you find yourself facing a DWI charge in Ocean County or Monmouth County, New Jersey, you should immediately seek the advice and counseling of the DWI attorneys at Villani & DeLuca, P.C., who can aggressively challenge your DWI breath test. Partner Carmine R. Villani, Esq. is a former municipal prosecutor and one of less than 50 New Jersey attorneys trained by Dräger as an Alcotest® operator. Mr. Villani received the same training offered to New Jersey Police Officers and State Troopers in the operation of the breath testing equipment. Mr. Villani will review the evidence against you and will determine whether there are aspects of your breath test that can be challenged in court. Villani & DeLuca, P.C. attorneys will work hard to prevent you from suffering the maximum penalties issued by the courts in the event you receive a DWI conviction. These penalties include large fines, possible jail time, community service, higher auto insurance, and loss of driving privileges.