As most New Jersey residents know, Breathalyzer test results are considered very reliable within the criminal justice system and few dare to challenge them. What they don’t realize that New Jersey is one of the states where thousands of test results have been thrown out in challenges.
The reliance states place on these tests is demonstrated by their mandatory nature. In fact, if someone suspected of drunk driving is stopped by an officer and he or she refuses to take a test, they could end up facing criminal charges. Additionally, refusing to take a breath test could result in a loss of the driver’s license, most likely for as long as one would have lost it had they failed the breath test.
Test results are often skewed, either because of human error or by mistakes in setting up the machines. In fact, in this state alone one trooper’s error in calibration caused more than 15,000 test results to be thrown out. When these flaws are discovered, courts most likely throw out the results and this ends up weakening in the prosecution’s case. Though not many initially challenged the test results, now people are beginning to see that it could be flawed and the movement is gaining momentum.
Drunk driving charges and convictions can be very devastating for people, as losing a driver’s license can limit someone’s ability to commute to work, pick children from school or make it to class on time. It can wreak even more havoc on a driver’s life if the arrest is not the first one. Understanding the possible flaws in the prosecution’s case is essential for those who wish to challenge their DUI charges and an experienced defense attorney can provide more guidance on how to protect one’s rights.