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New Jersey D.W.I. Update: Landmark Report on Alcotest 7110

Over the past few years, there has been complex and intense litigation in New Jersey over the use of the Alcotest 7110, which is the machine chosen by New Jersey for breath testing.  Howes & Howes have been monitoring the litigation very closely.  On February 13, 2007, a landmark 268-page report was published making recommendations for the final ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

In the landmark case of State vs. Chun, defense attorneys have challenged the use of the Alcotest 7110 in D.W.I. prosecutions in New Jersey Courts.  In 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court appointed a special master to conduct fact-finding hearings and make recommendations to the Supreme Court for a final ruling in the case.  On February 13, 2007, the Special Master published a 268-page report, complete with recommendations.

Among those recommendations were:

1. The use of a breath temperature sensor by the state.

2. A downward adjustment of 6.58% downward adjustment to all BAC readings until the breath temperature sensor is put in use.

3. Communication of data obtained from alcotest units to a central database on a periodic basis.

4. A minimum air sample of 1.2 liters for women over the age of 60 and a general 1.5 liters of air requirement for the remainder of the population.

5. A listing of the foundational documents required for admissibility of the Alcotest results, said documents to be admitted as business records.

6. A tolerance range among the 4 readings produced by 2 tests that would be “tightened” to a range of 10% of the average of the 4 readings.

These are all crucial recommendations that could effect thousands of existing D.W.I. cases in New Jersey.  The report is not law.  It is subject to review by the New Jersey Supreme Court after written comments from the legal teams involved.  Howes & Howes represents motorists charged with D.W.I. in all New Jersey courts.  We will continue to monitor these breaking develpments.

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