It is a serious traffic offense to be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey. A police officer can stop any person suspected to be committing a DWI. Once a stop is made, it is required under the law that the driver provide a breath sample to determine blood alcohol content (BAC) in his or her system. If a person is convicted of a DWI or a refusal to submit to the test, there are potential penalties of jail time, hefty fines, license suspension for extended periods, plus other requirements such as attending hours of drunk driving classes.
When a breathalyzer test is given and the arrestee is over the legal limit, the penalties change depending on the reading. If the reading is 0.08% or above, there is one set of penalties that the person faces. If it is 0.10% or above, the penalties become more serious. The punishments grow more stringent if the individual is a repeat DWI offender.
BAC Equipment Must be in Proper Working Order
It is required that the breathalyzer device, such as the Alcotest® used in New Jersey, be in proper working order each time it is operated on a suspected drunk driver. This means that it must have been calibrated in accordance with the law and all repair records be kept. If the machine is not calibrated when required or not used correctly by the operating police officer, then it is unlikely to have an accurate BAC reading.
Under the law, it is required that documentation be provided as to the breath test equipment used on the defendant in electronic form. Every six months the Alcotest® device must be calibrated. If there is evidence of noncompliance with these data requirements, a qualified defense attorney can detect such errors and use them to attack the charges against his or her client charged with DWI.
Breath Test Equipment Problems
There may be other reasons that a breathalyzer test might not be deemed to be functioning properly. If the test was not calibrated, it is not able to provide a reading that is accurate. There might have been a cell phone or other electronic device present at the time of the test that was in some manner interfering with the machine’s ability to conduct an accurate reading. The breath test results may also be challenged if the simulator solution that is used to prepare the machine was expired, if the police officer did not change the mouthpiece between the readings, or if there weren’t inspections of the machine prior to and after the defendant was tested. All of these are reasons to argue that the breathalyzer machine might not have yielded an accurate reading when testing a person for his or her BAC.
Speak to a Qualified DWI Attorney Today
If you were charged with DWI in Ocean County or Monmouth County, New Jersey, the law firm of Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey can assist you in your case. You shouldn’t risk being found guilty if there is a chance that the breath test machine used on you was not operating as it should have been. One little error in administering these tests can be the difference between a person having to face losing his or her driver’s license, facing expensive fines and possibly even jail time.
If you were charged with DWI in Belmar, Long Branch, Toms River or Neptune, the experienced drunk driving attorneys at Villani & DeLuca can help you with your DWI case. Call today for your free consultation.