If you were arrested for DWI in New Jersey, you were most likely asked to give samples of your breath for chemical testing. You would have done this by blowing into a machine called the Alcotest 7110.
Failing a Test is Not A Guilty Verdict
The vast majority of people believe they are guilty because they blew into a tube and a number came up on a machine. Nothing can be further from the truth. For a breath test reading to come into evidence:
- The State must establish that the police officer who tested you is certified to operate the Alcotest machine;
- The State must establish that the machine was in proper working order; and,
- The State must show that the proper procedure was followed when obtaining breath samples.
This may seem simple, but it is far more involved than most people think. To show that the officer was certified to operate the machine, the State must produce his Operator Certification card. These cards do expire, and it is up to the office to get re-certified and not let it lapse. If the State can’t provide a current certification card for an operator, the Judge never gets to see the breath test reading.
State Must Provide Documents and Data
To establish that the machine is in proper working order, the State must provide defense attorneys with documents showing that the machine has been calibrated, the solutions were changed, and provide several other documents evidencing the workability of the machine. In addition, the State must turn over service and repair records to show that the machine was fixed properly before being returned to the police station for breath testing. If these documents are not turned over, the State will be barred from using the breath test reading against you at trial.
And the State is required to follow the proper procedure when obtaining breath samples. The State must prove that a police officer observed you for 20 minutes immediately prior to the breath testing and that the officer changed out the plastic mouthpieces before each breath sample. In addition, there are other procedural safeguards that must be followed before a breath test reading is admissible.
Experienced Defense is a Necessity
You will need an experienced attorney who has been trained and certified as an Alcotest operator and who knows the proper procedures that need to be followed. This attorney will also be familiar with the documents and repair records that the State is required to turn over. With this knowledge and training as a driving while impaired attorney, Stephen Lukach III will be able to determine what mistakes or omissions were made during your test and know how best to use this information to fight your case. Contact us now to get the defense that you deserve!