Breath testing has become the most widely used testing method because it is highly automated, produces an immediate result and can be administered at the police station. Up until 2008, New Jersey has utilized a breathalyzer machine based on 1950's technology. Improvements in technology and cost factors have resulted in the State choosing a breathalyzer machine called the Alcotest 7110 MK III-C. The Alcotest uses updated technology and software. Both the old breathalyzer and the new Alcotest take breath samples and convert that testing by mathematical calculations to determine a person’s presumed BAC level. In the recent case of State vs. Chun, the New Jersey Supreme Court has determined that the Alcotest is generally scientifically reliable. Most municipalities are now using the Alcotest in place of the old breathalyzer machine. Although the Supreme Court determined the Alcotest is scientifically reliable and can be used in the prosecution of a drunk driving case, the Court also specified certain conditions which must be met before the State can enter the results of the Alcotest as evidence in a DWI trial. The State must prove several facts in a drunk driving case. An experienced attorney will review all aspects of the DWI charge which may reveal that the State cannot prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Factors that require a thorough review and may result in a dismissal of the charge include: • whether the police had probable cause to stop the vehicle. • whether the police had a reasonable and articulable basis upon which to make the stop. • whether the police conducted a field sobriety test and, if so, whether the sobriety field test was performed properly. • whether the accused driver was provided with Miranda warnings. • whether the police conducted a proper examination and questioning of the driver. • a review of any video tape taken at the scene of the arrest or while in custody.
Drunk driving cases are decided in Municipal Court. The Municipal Court is required to hear and dispose of a DWI case is a short period of time, usually no longer than 60 days from the date of the arrest. Unlike other motor vehicle violations and cases involving serious crimes, a DWI charge cannot be plea bargained. This means that the municipal prosecutor and the municipal Judge cannot change a DWI charge to a lesser offense or even plea bargain the level of intoxication so as to lessen the fines and penalties. The fines and penalties associated with a drunk driving conviction may include mandatory jail time. The financial impact of a DWI conviction does not end with the payment of the fine at Court. Completion of drunk driving classes and surcharges imposed by the Motor Vehicle Commission and private insurance companies result in years of paying for a single conviction. Both the immediate and the long term consequences of a DWI conviction make it clear that obtaining experienced legal representation is critically important for a person charged with driving while intoxicated.
Representing clients throughout New Jersey, including Newark, Belleville, Nutley, Bloomfield, Montclair, The Orange’s, Jersey City, Hoboken, Kearny, Harrison, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, Rutherford, Elizabeth, Union, Hillside, Hackensack, Clifton, Paterson, Woodbridge, Edison, Toms River, Essex County, Bergen County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Somerset County, and Union County.