COURT: BREATH TESTS ADMISSIBLE

By: Wallin & Klarich

A March 17, 2008 ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court declares that results of breath tests given to DUI suspects on devices manufactured by Alcotest are sufficiently reliable to be admitted in New Jersey DUI prosecutions.

20 people who had been arrested for DUI in New Jersey collectively filed a lawsuit challenging the use of the breath tests in their cases. Specifically, the defendants argued that the manner in which the calculations were made by the device caused the devices to overestimate the breath alcohol concentration in some drivers.

The Court, after hearing four months of testimony, declared that, in the vast majority of cases, the device underestimated the person’s breath alcohol level. The Court specifically found that, although the device actually overestimated the breath alcohol level in some individuals, that was not sufficient to justify any modification of the device or discontinued use of the device.

Posted In: Law & Information