The tool used to establish blood alcohol concentration ("BAC") in most Stafford New Jersey DWI cases is a breath test. The breathalyzer currently employed by police in Ocean County and statewide is the Drager Alcotest 7110 Evidential. Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is among 3 or 4 firms in New Jersey that owns its own Alcotest. The reason our attorneys have an Alcotest is to provide our clients with the maximum level of assistance. You are encouraged to contact our firm if you would like to speak to an attorney who is highly knowledgeable on proper breath testing, including the former Stafford Township prosecutor on our staff, Matthew Dorry. He also served in the municipalities of Point Pleasant Beach, Berkeley Township, Beach Haven, Eagleswood, Jackson, Long Beach, Ocean Gate, Little Egg Harbor, Ocean Township, Surf City, Toms River, Beachwood, Tuckerton, Pine Beach and South Toms River. Mr. Dorry or another lawyer is available 24/7 for free consultations at (732) 286-6500.Challenging Breath Test Results in NJ DWI Cases
There are manufacturer's guidelines for proper operation of the Alcotest just like most instruments. These rules tell us when a proper sample has been taken and tested properly and when it has not. Advanced training and knowledge in this area is obviously invaluable for someone looking to have every opportunity to successfully challenge a breath test result. Our attorneys have the most thorough training currently available on the Alcotest with four on our staff who are among approximately 50 in New Jersey who are certified by Drager. Some of the common defenses raised based on this knowledge will now be highlighted.
Twenty (20) Minute Issue. The guidelines require that a subject be observed for twenty (20) minutes uninterrupted prior to blowing in the Alcotest. The primary reason for this requirement is to insure that the mouth cavity of the accused was not contaminated by a burp, foreign object or other factor. If we can establish through testimony, in-station video or CAD report that there is reasonable doubt concerning constant uninterrupted observation for twenty (20) minutes, the breath test result is inadmissible and cannot be used to prove BAC.
Lack of Proper Test Certifications. There are foundational documents that must be presented in every Alcotest based DWI case. The proofs include documentation evidencing, among other things, that the instrument has been periodically tested and calibrated, is in proper working order, that solutions have been changed as required and that those involved are properly certified to test and operate the breathalyzer. When a foundational document is lacking or demonstrates a defect in a sample or test result, the related BAC cannot be used in court.
Digital Data. There is an internal audit trail left in the Alcotest that is commonly referred to as digital data. This information shows how the machine has performed from moment to moment including whether the proper period of "lock out" and other requirements have been achieved. When the data is flawed, this allows our lawyers to eliminate a breath test reading.
Contamination. There are many ways that a breath sample can be contaminated or compromised. For example, if an individual suffers from gerd or acid reflux that can result in contamination of the mouth and air cavity. Another way compromise can occur is if the subject has a bridge or other mouth appliance or prosthetic that encapsulates mouth alcohol so that the sample is artificially inflated (i.e. the sample is measuring mouth alcohol rather than breath).
Electronic Interference. The Alcotest cannot operate properly when a cell phone, radio or other electronic device is in the immediate area. If we can establish that your cell phone was with you or there was some other electronic in the area, the sample is probably invalid.
The Ocean County municipality of Ocean Township utilizes the Alcotest just like every other one in the state. If you were arrested and are being charged with DWI based on a breath test result, hiring a lawyer who is highly trained in this area is important. An attorney who knows when a sample is valid, when there is a flaw in the machine or how to mount an effective attack on another basis is imperative to your success in defending a DUI. The attorneys that make up the defense team at Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have these attributes. To speak to one of the lawyers in a free consultation anytime 24/7 call (732) 286-6500.DWI Towns That We Serve