Challenging the Breathalyzer Test in New Jersey

If you have been pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated, chances are you were given a breathalyzer test. The breathalyzer test is the most common form of testing for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and is one of the most important pieces of evidence used against you in court. Many people don’t realize that even if you take the test and you see a number above 0.08% appear on the screen, you’re not guaranteed to be convicted of a DWI. Although the breathalyzer may seem like an unbeatable piece of evidence, it’s actually quite unreliable and subject to procedural issues. There are a variety of ways you can fight and win a DWI case, and challenging the breathalyzer test is one of them.

The state of New Jersey uses a device called the Alcotest to determine a suspect’s BAC. Defending yourself in a DWI case based off of a breath test is possible because the Alcotest device can run into a number of problems. There are many circumstances in which the results of the test are skewed and do not accurately determine intoxication, such as:

  • The Alcotest device was not calibrated properly
  • The device was not maintained properly
  • The suspect may have a medical issue that affected the BAC reading such as diabetes or asthma
  • The officer improperly administered the test

If any of these procedural errors occurred, an aggressive defense attorney stands a good chance of having your DWI charges reduced or dropped.

Breath tests aren’t completely accurate in that they have a margin of error of 12.5%. Considering the prosecution has to prove you were driving while intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt, these tests alone are not enough to convict you.

Another way in which people beat their DWI case is when the officer fails to abide by the 20-minute rule for breathalyzer test. Arresting officers are legally required to observe the suspect for at least 20 minutes before administering the Alcotest. Failure to do this invalidates the breathalyzer test as evidence and usually throws the prosecutor’s case out the window.

Failing a breathalyzer test doesn’t spell the end for you. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jef Henninger, Esq. know how to beat the results of a breathalyzer test. If you’re in New Jersey and have failed an Alcotest, call us for a team of aggressive defense attorneys that know how to get the charges dropped.

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