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New Jersey DWI Update:  Alcotest Cases Must Now Proceed

The New Jersey Supreme Court has made a ruling in State v. Chun.  The Alcotest breath testing device used in New Jersey has been deemed to be reliable.  All cases that were previously stayed (placed on hold) while the Supreme Court decided the Chun case must now be heard promptly in the municipal courts, and those special cases must follow a certain procedure outlined by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

On March 17, 2008 the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the Alcotest breath testing device is scientifically reliable to measure blood alcohol content, subject to certain conditions.  Tens of thousands of DWI cases statewide were on hold while the Supreme Court decided the Chun case.  Those cases must now be brought to a conclusion in the municipal courts and done according to a procedure published on March 31, 2008 by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The courts must first notify all defendants whose cases have been put on hold.

Those defendants must appear in the municipal court with their attorney.  The prosecutor must complete certain technical calculations on a worksheet designed by the Supreme Court.  The prosecutor, the defense attorney and the defendant must then appear before the municipal court judge who must then re-check the calculations.  This process must take place on the record, and not in the prosecutor’s conference room.  Once this process is complete, the court can then determine the final disposition of each individual case.

The long wait is finally over for defendants.  They can now learn what will happen to their long-pending DWI cases


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