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The Breathalyzer -- it's not infallable

When an officer of the pulls you over in New Jersey, he will be attentive to everything that's happening around him. He will also be alert to your state of lucidity. Officers are always on the look for driver who may be inebriated or intoxicated. In your case, perhaps the officer saw the signs of inebriation during a routine traffic stop -- like red eyes, slurred speech, or alcoholic breath. He then ask you to step out of your vehicle and perform various exams to ascertain your state of inebriation.

One of the most important exams the officer performed on you was probably the Breathalyzer blood alcohol content test. You had to blow into it and the device measured how much alcohol was in your blood based on the content of alcohol it detected on your breath.

Maintenance of Breathalyzer devices is essential

Here's the thing that most people don't know: Breathalyzer machines are not flawless. They deal with estimations and their extremely scientific instruments that need to be regularly calibrated to function properly.

A badly maintained or improperly calibrated Breathalyzer will not provide accurate results. It could show you as too drunk to drive when you barely had anything to drink. Or, it could show you as stone-cold sober after drinking an entire bottle of wine.

Here is some basic information about calibration, parameters and requirements for Breathalyzer machines:

-- List of approved devices: The machine needs to be on New Jersey's list of approved devices.

-- Accuracy testing: Law enforcement must regularly perform accuracy testing in accordance with a detailed maintenance schedule.

-- Regular maintenance: Law enforcement must maintain Breathalyzers in accordance with a regular maintenance schedule.

-- Certified officers: Officers administering a breath test must receive certification on the particular device.

-- Appropriate administration: Test must be performed in accordance with how the officer was trained to use the device.

-- No burping: Officers administering a breath test need to ensure that the driver does not regurgitate, burp, smoke, eat something or vomit just before being tested.

-- Congruency of tests: Breath tests need to include at least two readings that have results of between 0.02 percent BAC of each other.

Breathalyzer defenses that highlight procedural violations

Due to the extent of rules and regulations that apply to Breathalyzer devices, New Jersey defendants accused of drunk driving may benefit from a close examination of the circumstances and facts surrounding the use of a Breathalyzer in their cases.

If defendants can find a problem with the way the officer used the Breathalyzer, or with the device's maintenance, defendants might be able to convince the court to render their Breathalyzer test inadmissible as evidence in their criminal court proceedings.

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