Lawsuit Against DWI in New Jersey Dismissed by Court

The Draeger Alcotest is used in New Jersey to measure levels of alcohol in drivers. A blood alcohol concentration percentage above 0.08 percent will result in a DWI charge in New Jersey. Two New Jersey men who were convicted of DWIs sued Draeger Safety Diagnostics, Inc. based on the reliability of the equipment used to test their alcohol levels, but the suit was dismissed.

The plaintiffs in the suit were each convicted of a DWI in New Jersey. Their respective licenses were suspended and they were each fined. However, the two men claimed that the equipment used by officers (Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C) to test their BAC levels could not be calibrated correctly, which, according to them, resulted in a false positive.

Judge Maryanne Trump Barry of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit agreed with a New Jersey court that dismissed the suit in October of 2013. Judge Barry stated that the defendants’ claim of personal injury could not be litigated in federal court.

Does This Ruling Change DWI in New Jersey?

The dismissal of this lawsuit means that the Draeger Alcotest equipment used in New Jersey is still considered to be reliable as evidence against defendants being charged with DWI. However, how the equipment is used by officers in the field is still a significant factor when fighting DWI charges. If the equipment is not properly handled and the test is incorrectly administered, you may have a strong case against your DWI charges in New Jersey.

State v. Chun

In a 2008 case (State v. Chun), the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the Alcotest was scientifically reliable and could be used as evidence in court. In this more recent lawsuit, the two men claimed the Vice President of Draeger offered false testimony during State v. Chun. Judge Barry disagreed on the grounds that the testimony was offered as opinion rather than fact.

Contact a Lawyer Experienced Challenging DWI in New Jersey

If you have been charged with DWI in New Jersey, contact a lawyer with experience. Carmine Villani, an experienced NJ DWI lawyer, is specifically trained on the usage, operation and analysis of the Draeger Alcotest. He has been a presenter at the NJ DWI Institute and can leverage his in-depth DWI knowledge to help with your case.
If you believe your rights may have been violated during an arrest, you may be able to beat your DWI charges. Contact Villani & DeLuca today to learn more and ask about a free consultation.