Proof of Intoxication in New Jersey DWI Cases
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses in New Jersey are very serious, even if it is a first offense. A DWI conviction can have significant consequences, including license suspension and jail time that can impact several aspects of your life including educational and employment opportunities. If you have been charged with a DWI, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to help you navigate the legal process and get you the most desirable result in your case.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have had tremendous success handling countless DWI cases for years in Camden County including Cherry Hill, Collingswood, Winslow Township, and Gloucester. In fact, five of our lawyers are among the limited number (far less than 100) who are certified on the DWI Alcotest 7110. This means he understands the details of the device, how it works, and whether there are any defects with it’s functioning. Two are also instructors in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (“SFST”), the alternative basis used by police officers to prove intoxication.
The combination of this advanced training, not to mention over 200 years of combined experience defending DWI cases and prosecuting them (i.e. members of our team have served as municipal prosecutors in over 20 towns), provides us with invaluable skill to help you challenge the proof of intoxication in your case. If you have been charged with a DWI, having an attorney who knows how to get the best result in your case is imperative and that is exactly what the lawyers at our firm are ready to provide.
Call our Camden County Criminal Lawyers at 877-450-8301 anytime for a free initial consultation.
Proof of Intoxication in a New Jersey DWI Case
Police officers can obtain proof of intoxication by several different methods. These include:
I. Breath Test Readings: Alcotest 7110 Breath Testing Device
The most common test used by the police in proving intoxication is the breath test machine, the Alcotest 7110 which is manufactured by Draeger Safety. This test gets breath samples from those suspected of driving while intoxicated and tells the officer what the persons blood-alcohol content is. As mentioned above, one of our attorneys, Travis Tormey, is trained on the device’s analytical system, components, peripherals, and how to operate the machine and perform a New Jersey specific breath test sequence. This allows us to very effectively attack the prosecutions case if there were any problems with the machine or if the tests were faulty in any way.
II. Observation of Officer
A state can also show proof of intoxication based on what the officer observes. These observations can include:
Watery or bloodshot eyes
Smell of alcohol
Admissions by the suspect
The police officer can also make observations based on how the person performs on any of the field sobriety tests. These tests are approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). The three most common tests are:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (“HGN”) Test
Walk and turn test
One leg stand test
Although these are the three main tests, the HGN test has not been shown to be scientifically reliable in courts. However, it can be used as probable cause for a DWI stop. Other tests that might be administered by the officer are:
Counting backwards and forwards
Head tilt test
Finger to nose test
Reciting the alphabet
Note: Sometimes, the State might not have an admissible breath test reading. However, even if there is a problem with the reading, the prosecution can still prove a DWI by performance on the field test and these observations of police officers.
Contact a Camden NJ DWI Lawyer for a Free Consultation
The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are always available to speak with you about your case and begin to formulate an aggressive strategy to defend you against a DWI charge. Our criminal defense team understands the details of DWI law in New Jersey and we will use this knowledge to help you best defend against these charges. Call us today at 877-450-8301 for a free initial consultation about your case.