Alcotest Protocol Providing Interesting Opportunities for First Offenders

The suspension period for a First Offense under New Jersey’s DWI statute is tiered based on blood alcohol content. While a first offense carries 7-12 months suspension where the accused has a BAC in excess of .10, the license suspension for a first offender is limited to 3 months if the readings are below .10 but in excess of .08.  The experience of our offices has been, however, that the readings blown by an accused does not necessarily translate into how he will be penalized at the conclusion of a case handled by our dwi lawyers.

Drager’s Alcotest has been phased into operation throughout NJ and almost every police department is conducting its breath tests on this machine.  The manufacturer’s specifications for operation of the Alcotest mandates that certain protocol be followed and many of these requirements are embodied in the New Jersey Administrative Code.  Failure to adhere to these mandates by police officers operating the Alcotest translate into suppression of the Alcotest readings and a drunk driving case with no breath test readings.  This result has been achieved by our DWI defense team in an extraordinary percentage of cases based on thorough pretrial discovery and expert testimony preparation. These downgrades for First Offenders have included cases involving extreme Alcotest readings (e.g. readings in excess of .20).
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