Police Tampering on Breathalyzer Tests Can Lead to Overturned DUI Convictions

June 3rd, 2019 by Attorney Dan Carman

The accuracy of more than 20 thousand drunk driving convictions in the state of New Jersey has been called into question on grounds that the breathalyzer tests used to secure the convictions were not admissible. These convictions are not admissible because a New Jersey State Police sergeant responsible for calibrating the breathalyzers falsified the records of calibration on breathalyzers in five New Jersey counties.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that breathalyzer tests from the devices with falsified records were inadmissible. This means that the state of New Jersey will have many people with drunk driving convictions applying to have their convictions expunged over the next few months.

Now, this isn’t going to have any effect on convictions in the state of Kentucky, but it demonstrates an important point: police tampering with breathalyzer tests, and any other tests for intoxication, can lead to the chemical tests being ruled inadmissible and potentially overturn a conviction.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Lexington or around Kentucky, get in touch with Dan Carman. As an experienced defense attorney, he has successfully represented clients charged with a variety of crimes. If you’ve been charged, the case against you is already being prepared. Get in touch today to set up a consultation so you can defend yourself to the fullest extent possible.

The Case in New Jersey

Sgt. Marc W. Dennis, the New Jersey State Police sergeant responsible for calibrating the breathalyzers, has been arrested and faces charges in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Breath samples from 20,667 people had been taken on improperly calibrated devices in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union counties.

The state of New Jersey now faces the problem of informing people who could potentially have their convictions expunged about the situation. Matthew W. Reisig, a New Jersey lawyer who defends drunk driving cases, states that, “The state at some point is going to notify people, but we don’t know if they are notifying the correct people. I have zero confidence that the state knows who the affected people are.”

As part of its ruling, the Supreme Court of New Jersey stated, “Confidence in the reliability of instruments of technology used as evidence is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, alleged human failings have cast doubt on the calibration process.”

The state of New Jersey faces serious challenges in bringing justice to the state and determining which of the individuals previously convicted now need to have their convictions overturned. But even in Kentucky, we should note the importance of the integrity of breathalyzer tests and other devices used to collect evidence. If these are not maintained, cases can be overturned.

Are You Facing DUI Charges?

If faced with DUI charges, you should not hesitate. Call Dan Carman today. He has capably represented clients charged with DUI and other crimes in Lexington and throughout Kentucky, and he is ready to help you in your fight for justice.

Contact Dan Carman, Kentucky criminal defense lawyer, by calling (859)-251-6562 or by filling out his online contact form to GET HELP NOW.