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New Jersey DUI Breathalyzer Test Voided Due to Tongue Stud

May 29, 2012 | Posted In Criminal Law - DUI/DWI

As New Jersey DUI lawyers know, under New Jersey law, when law enforcement administers a breathalyzer test to a suspected intoxicated motorist, no foreign materials or objects should be present in the mouth.  Under this rule, a woman’s tongue stud recently voided a breathalyzer reading that registered up to three times the legal limit of alcohol.

Kara Nelson was pulled over on Route 46 by officers who then administered a field sobriety test. She later voluntarily submitted to a blood alcohol test which registered a .21.  In New Jersey, the legal limit for alcohol intoxication is .08.

However, the breathalyzer reading will not be admitted in court, because at the time of the test, Nelson was wearing a tongue stud.  This means that her blood alcohol reading also cannot be admitted in the court.

If the reading had been admitted into court, Nelson might have received heavy penalties, including a $300 fine and court costs, and lost her license for at least seven months.  Now, she has been sentenced to a minimum $256 fine for DUI, will lose her license for three months and will pay surcharges, court costs and other fees.

As this incident shows, rating high on a breathalyzer test does not mean that you will be convicted of DUI.  A New Jersey DUI lawyer can identify defects in the testing process that can void the test results or reduce the charges against you.  For instance, a breathalyzer may not measure the blood-alcohol amount correctly.  An incorrect reading is common, and New Jersey DUI lawyers often use these defects in the breathalyzer to get test results voided.

There are many other defenses that a New Jersey DUI attorney can employ to get your charges dismissed or reduced.  The experience of your lawyer can make a huge difference in whether you're convicted, or the severity of your sentence after a conviction.

The New Jersey DUI attorneys at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with DUI across New Jersey.

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