New Jersey uses a breath test machine, commonly referred to as a breathalyzer, called the Alcotest. Drager Industries in Lübeck, Germany manufactures the Drager Alcotest 7110 MK III-C. The State of New Jersey has adopted Drager’s Alcotest 7110 as its preferred device by which to measure the blood alcohol content of suspected drunk drivers. The Drager Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C utilizes two different and independent systems for measuring BAC from a driver’s breath. The first system analyzes alcohol in breath samples through a technology called infrared spectroscopy (IR). The second system analyzes alcohol from the same breath sample utilizing electrochemical cell (EC) technology. The utilization of two technologies on the same breath sample (in essence, measuring the breath sample twice) is intended to provide the highest level of forensic and legal integrity.
This means that each blow of exhaled air produces two separate BAC readings, one based on IR and the other from EC. In order for the machine to produce a successful final BAC, the machine needs to test two separate exhaled breaths that meet the minimum air volume and blowing duration. Each of the breaths must be administered with a separate mouthpiece and there must be a two-minute period between each test in order for the machine to recalibrate itself. These four BAC numbers are then placed into an algorithm that assesses if they are within tolerance. If so, the resulting outcome of the BAC is rounded down to the lowest recorded reading which establishes the blood alcohol concentration of the driver and whether they are in fact “over the limit”.
However, the Alcotest is often criticized as a “delicate” machine, and the administering officer must adhere to slight technicalities when administering the dual tests of the Alcotest. For example, as was established in State v. Chun, a case that confirmed the legal use of the Alcotest by New Jersey law enforcement, the officer must observe the suspect for twenty minutes prior to administering the test. This is to ensure that the suspect does not do anything that in any way may skew the results of the test. Such acts can include chewing gum, washing of mouth, burping, or eating. Furthermore, radio wavelengths may affect the test readings as well. For more information on the Alcotest, visit Drager Industry’s website.
Alcotest Certified NJ DWI Attorney
While the Alcotest 7110 is an impressive machine, it demands precise administration by the arresting officer as well as a strict adherence to proper protocol. Because of this, there is often some variable or doubt regarding the accuracy of the test. This provides an opportunity for our lawyers to challenge the state’s claims against our clients. We take the Alcotest 7110 and its operation very seriously. In fact, our firm’s founding attorney, Will Proetta is one of just a handful of attorneys in New Jersey who is certified by Drager Industries in the correct operation and maintenance of the Alcotest 7110. Therefore, if you or your loved one is facing DWI charges in Union County or throughout New Jersey, then it is in your best interest to consult with a uniquely qualified DWI attorney who will aggressively defend your rights. For a free initial consultation, contact our office with convenient locations in Cranford and North Edison by calling (908) 838-0150.
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