The prospect of losing your driving privileges, facing jail time, paying fines or paying higher insurance premiums can be frightening for New Jersey drivers. Drunk driving or drugged driving charges can have devastating consequences for even a first offense. Law enforcement knows how to build a strong case, but is it unassailable?
It is not.
While an important piece of the overall case, breath test results – or the results of other chemical tests – can be challenged on numerous grounds. Essentially, you should ask several questions, such as:
- Was the officer properly trained on the machine’s operation?
- Was the machine properly cleaned and stored after each use?
- Was the machine properly calibrated before use?
- Were there any environmental factors that could have influenced the test results?
- Did your prior activity or breathing problems lead to inaccurate results?
While this technology is generally proven and tested in the field, it is not infallible. As illustrated above, there are several questions that must be addressed before assuming the test results are accurate. After receiving an unfavorable result, drivers might feel hopeless and helpless against New Jersey law enforcement. Fortunately, there are multiple steps that must be followed before facing the serious consequences of a DUI conviction.
Many law enforcement officers have started to rely too heavily on this type of technology, and it is not always accurate. Food or drink from earlier in the day can influence breath test results. Similarly, that day’s activities can lead to false results. The presence of paint fumes, for example, might impact the breath test readings. It is crucial to remember that an unfavorable test result isn’t immediately a criminal conviction for DUI. Remain calm and helpful throughout the process, then immediately contact your attorney for guidance.