In New Jersey, the blood alcohol content (BAC) reading of an Alcotest Breathalizer can result in a dead-bang conviction for drunk driving if its reading of at least 0.08% is admitted into evidence at trial. It is called a per se violation, and it can nail you if the state gets all of its proofs right.
In order to get the breath readings into evidence, however, the state must jump through several procedural hoops. This includes showing that the test was administered according to official procedure. This is where your cell phone comes in.
How Can Having My Cell Phone Be a Defense?
The radio frequency interference (RFI) of these phones can affect the readings generated by the machine. Therefore, the "official procedure" set forth in a case called State v. Chun includes the removal of cell phones from the testing area.
It matters not whether the RFI actually affected the reading; it matters only that the "official procedure" was not followed if the phone was not removed before the test. For this reason, if you were arrested for drunk driving in New Jersey and had your cell phone with you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Did the officer ask if I had a cell phone with me?
- If so, did he/she take it from me and remove it from the testing area?
If the answer to either of these questions is "No," then it may well be possible to get the Alcotest reading thrown out. This does not mean that your entire case will be dismissed, but it does make it much more difficult for the state to prove its case, especially if the Field Sobriety Test was not conducted properly.
Don't Try to Handle This Yourself!
The consequences of this charge are just too great not to hire a lawyer! This isn't just a speeding ticket!
If you are convicted, you face a license suspension of 3 months to 10 years (depending on previous convictions), possible jail time, and thousands of dollars in fines and surcharges. There may be defenses to your case that an attorney could raise that could allow you to:
- Keep your job
- Provide for yourself and your family
- Avoid a crushing debt that you can't get rid of
So Don't Give Up the Fight!
Most people think that there is nothing they can do about their DUI charge; they just give up and plead guilty. Don't surrender; you may have defenses! If you want to know what they are, click here! Then scroll down and see what to do next!
So What Do I Do?
Considering what you face, if you have been charged with drunk driving, you need to consult with a lawyer. If you received the ticket in southern New Jersey, want to do everything you can to avoid conviction, and are ready to act, then call me immediately at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.
If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.
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