Can You Dispute Breathalyzer Test Results in New Jersey?

cropped view of driver taking breathalyzer from policeman while sitting in car

If you’re facing a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge, it can be frightening and overwhelming. It may seem like your circumstances are hopeless. However, there’s no reason to give up hope, as you may be able to challenge breathalyzer test results. Please continue reading to learn how a determined Middlesex County, New Jersey, DWI Lawyer can help you explore available defenses and defend your rights.  

What is a Breathalyzer Test?

In New Jersey, when law enforcement officers believe a driver is driving while intoxicated, they will perform a traffic stop and administer a breathalyzer test to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to confirm the reasonable suspicion of a DWI. Essentially, a breathalyzer test is a diagnostic device that analyzes the alcohol content in a driver’s breath. Under New Jersey’s implied consent laws, when you apply for and receive a driver’s license in the Garden State, you are giving consent to any breathalyzer or chemical tests requested by a police officer if pulled over. It’s important to understand that refusing a breathalyzer test can result in severe penalties, including a fine and a license suspension.

Nevertheless, while law enforcement officers often utilize these instruments to determine whether a driver is driving while impaired, they are not infallible. They can produce inaccurate results. As such, you may be able to challenge a breathalyzer’s test results.

How Do I Challenge Breathalyzer Test Results?

A DWI conviction can have serious consequences. Therefore, it’s in your best interests to enlist the help of an experienced Middlesex County, New Jersey, DWI lawyer who can help you examine the evidence against you and explore available defenses. The following include some of the potential errors that can be used to help you fight your DWI charge:

  • Improper machine certification or calibration: The validity of your breath tests can be challenged if the device is not adequately certified or calibrated. These machines require regular maintenance and inspections to ensure the instrument functions properly. They also must be periodically calibrated by law enforcement officers. If law enforcement cannot produce the machine’s certification and calibration records, the court can exclude the test results from being presented as evidence in court.
  • Faulty breath test administration: New Jersey law enforcement officers are subject to abide by certain procedural requirements. This includes complying with the 20-minute observing period. If the law enforcement officer who administers the test fails to observe you for a full 20 minutes before administering the test, it may be inadmissible. This is because the breath test can be contaminated by forms of alcohol contained in other stuff, such as mouthwash or asthma spray. Additionally, if you throw up before the test, it can lead to skewed results.
  • Illegal stop: Police must have a valid basis for pulling you over to request a breathalyzer test. They must have probable cause for initiating a traffic stop, or the results may be inadmissible in court. If the prosecution doesn’t have sufficient evidence against you, the case may be dismissed.

If you’ve been charged with a DWI based on the results of a breathalyzer test, please don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC, who can help you fight the charges against you.

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