Can I Challenge the Results of a Breathalyzer Test in New Jersey?

breathalyzer next to alcohol

There are millions of arrests for drinking and driving across the United States every year. In the state of New Jersey, a person can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. A person’s BAC can be established through a breathalyzer test. Because a breathalyzer is technology, it can be flawed and therefore results can be unreliable. Thousands of tests have been thrown out of court over the years as a result. While many people do not think to challenge the results of a breathalyzer test, doing so can sometimes prevent a conviction. Our Monmouth County DWI attorney is here to help. When dealing with these situations, keep the following in mind:

Can Breathalyzer Tests Be Trusted?

There are a few reasons why a breathalyzer test is not completely reliable. This is because results can sometimes be skewed due to human error or governmental oversight. There are some cases in which labs may skimp on maintenance or make a mistake while setting up the machines. It is important to be aware of these issues, as the unreliability of these tests can be dangerous.

It is crucial that you are aware of your right to challenge the results of a breathalyzer. This is because law enforcement in New Jersey trusts the test enough to penalize drivers who refuse to submit their breath for the test. This is done under the implied consent law that requires any person operating a motor vehicle in the state to give consent to a breath test. If they fail to do so, they may face certain consequences. As a result, drivers tend to take the test. However, with the new information regarding unreliable tests, lawyers are preparing drivers to challenge these convictions.

DWI Penalties in New Jersey

If a breathalyzer test says that a driver’s BAC is over the legal limit, they may be subject to consequences as a result. Being charged with a DWI in the state of New Jersey can significantly impact a person’s future. It is because of this that it is important to explore all defense possibilities, including challenging a breathalyzer test. The consequences of a first offense DWI can include the following:

  • A maximum 30 days of incarceration
  • Driver’s license suspension for 3 months
  • $1000 surcharge every year for 3 years
  • A fine between $250 and $400
  • 12-48 hours in the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
  • $100 fee for the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund
  • $100 Drunk Driving Fund fee
  • $75 Neighborhood Services Fund fee

It is important to know that if a driver is a repeat offender, these penalties can worsen.

Contact our experienced Red Bank firm

If you require strong and dedicated representation for any family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning matter, contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.