Challenging the Blood Alcohol Test in a New Jersey DUI

Challenging-the-Blood-Alcohol-Test

Did you know that plea bargaining is not allowed in a DUI prosecution in New Jersey? You can plead guilty, but you’ll simply have to accept the punishment handed down by the court. You may, however, be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely if you can successfully challenge the admissibility of critical evidence, such as the blood alcohol test.

Ways to Challenge a Blood Alcohol Test

One of the best ways to fight a DUI in New Jersey is to challenge the validity of the blood test. To do so, you need to pose legitimate questions about the reliability of the test and the results. Here are some of the questions to ask:

  • Where was the blood test taken and who administered it? Was it done by a licensed doctor or a registered nurse? If the prosecution doesn’t know who took your blood and cannot produce that person to testify at trial, the case may be dismissed.
  • Often, before drawing blood, a nurse or doctor will clean your skin with an iodine swab. Studies have shown that this can have an impact on blood alcohol readings. Ask if that was done. If so, the findings may be subject to challenge.
  • Has the blood alcohol testing machine been properly maintained? When was it last calibrated or serviced? Has it been found to produce inconsistent or false readings in the past?
  • Are you able to conduct an independent test of the blood? Sometimes, police will discard any blood that remains after the initial test. If there’s none left over for you to have an independent test conducted, you may be able to get the charges thrown out.

Contact Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich

To schedule an appointment with an experienced New Jersey DUI defense attorney, contact my office online or call me at 732-257-1137. There is no cost or obligation for your first meeting. Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment. I accept all major credit cards.

Military-Civilian Drunk Driving Considerations…As Well as DUI in a Tank

M-1 Abrams tank

If you are currently serving in the military, whether on Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard, you probably understand that your actions in civilian life can easily affect what happens to you in your service, and also vice versa. At the same time, many of our nation’s servicemen and women have not taken the time to consider the specific consequences of something like getting a DUI while off-duty or off-base. A recent event highlighted that very scenario.

In a story that sounds like something out of a video game, a Virginia National Guard lieutenant was recently arrested for driving under the influence of drugs after taking an armored vehicle and leading police on a 60-mile chase outside of Richmond, VA. Although the vehicle was not technically a tank because it was weaponless, many onlookers were left breathless after seeing the vehicle driving down the interstate on tank treads, with a dozen police vehicles in pursuit, like something out of a Fast and the Furious sequel.

While getting pulled over for operating a tank while intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol is unlikely to happen to you, it is not uncommon for an off-duty service member to be charged with DUI/DWI. After all, it only takes one drink for many persons to be over the legal limit of .08% blood alcohol content (BAC). If you or someone you know is in this situation, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. A good lawyer may be able to take your case and defend you or work with military area defense counsel (ADC) to help you take the appropriate action.

Jurisdiction for DUI Involving Active Military

One of the difficulties in addressing drunk driving for persons in some branch of the military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or National Guard, is determining who has jurisdiction for a certain charge. If an individual on active duty is charged with driving while intoxicated, it is possible that the charges will be brought in civilian court or in military courts, or that military and civilian authorities will coordinate to determine how the case will be tried. It is also possible that a DUI or DWI can result in charges brought in both courts, and being found not guilty in one does not mean you will acquitted in the other. Depending on where charges are brought, it may be necessary to have a civilian attorney, military defense counsel, or both.

Where You Are Arrested Matters

Where you are arrested for driving under the influence is probably the most important factor in determining how and where you are charged. If you are arrested on Base in New Jersey, such as at McGuire Air Force Base or Fort Dix, then you will likely face military authority. However, you can still face civilian penalties such as loss of driving privileges, loss of license, and require use of an ignition interlock device.

If the arrest occurs off-base, it is likely that you will only face criminal charges in a municipal court. Nonetheless, a conviction could carry additional consequences – more than the possible jail time, fines, and loss of driving privileges – such as administrative actions and corrective training.

If you are a civilian charged with DUI on a military installation, then you will may be required to face charges in federal court, but the court will still apply regular New Jersey law.
Regardless of the specifics of your case, dealing with DUI or DWI charges can be extremely complicated or difficult. Consulting a good lawyer is the first step in making sure that you are presenting the best possible defense in your situation.

New Jersey Drunk Driving Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Will Work with You When You’re in Trouble

If you or someone you know is facing charges for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there are many possible complications that could arise – especially if the case involves the military, military personnel, or is on a military base. In any scenario, you need to talk to someone who will know the best way to help. A good lawyer can make all the difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

New “Layer Cake” Chip is a Breathalyzer for Cocaine

A man pulled over by the police

When it comes to DUI and DWI, driving while intoxicated is illegal regardless of whether you are impaired as the result of alcohol, prescription medications, or illegal narcotics. In the past, however, it was extremely difficult for police officers to specifically prove that a person was driving under the influence of something other than alcohol, because there are no legally admissible portable tests to show drug or marijuana intoxication. If drug impairment is suspected, a police officer will typically need to obtain a warrant for a blood draw or urine sample, and the results of those tests can often be challenged in court by an experienced attorney.

Soon, that may not be the case – at least when it comes to cocaine detection. A new technology being developed by the University of Buffalo may bring police officers one step closer to having a “cocaine breathalyzer.” This device will be portable, so investigating officers will supposedly be able to quickly and reliably determine if someone is driving under the influence of cocaine.

Cocaine Breathalyzer Technology

The new technology will take the form of a chip comprised of different layers performing different functions in the form of drug analysis, leading to it being called an optical layer cake. The layers would include silver, aluminum oxide, and gold nanoparticles.

The chip would be built into a handheld device that would be used to extract any existing cocaine molecules from a biological sample, such as saliva in a breath sample, that would then get deposited on top of the chip. By then exposing the chip to a laser, the handheld computer would be able to determine if the particles on the chip are a match for cocaine. The creators of the technology believe that the same principles could be applied to other drugs, such as marijuana.
Current tests show that the chip is capable of detecting cocaine within minutes of exposure – much faster than a blood or urine test – and it is also inexpensive.

When Will We See the Technology?

The paper detailing the success of the technology was only published last week, so it will be some time before police officers will be using any type of drug breathalyzer based on layer cake technology in the field. That being said, more and more companies are working on similar technology all the time – including some technologies previously covered here on the Edward M. Janzekovich law blog. In order for any new device to be implemented in New Jersey, it will need to pass rigorous testing standards. The State will also need to determine that the technology is reliable and affordable.

What This Means if You are Charged with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Since no drug breathalyzer exists currently, police officers in New Jersey will still be relying on blood tests and urine samples for the foreseeable future. If you or someone you know is charged with driving while intoxicated due to drugs, a good lawyer will be able to analyze the evidence against you and determine if police were justified to administering the test, if the test was properly conducted within an allowable time frame, and if the results are reliable based on numerous factors. Regardless of whether the evidence against you takes the form of old technology or new technology, an experienced attorney knows that nothing is reliable 100% of the time, and proving this in court could result in the charges against you being dismissed completely.

New Jersey DWI Attorney Edward M. Janzekovich Is Always Ready to Defend You

When it comes to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the law and technology are always changing. If you or someone you know is arrested, you will want to talk to a who is prepared to review the evidence against you and get any inadmissible evidence thrown out. A good attorney can make a big difference. To speak with an experienced New Jersey DWI/DUI lawyer about your situation, call us at 732-257-1137 or contact us online today. We serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.