Under New Jersey law, there are two primary ways that you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). While you can be charged with DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit, you can also be charged regardless of your BAC if the arresting officer determines that your driving ability was impaired by alcohol or drugs.
But, while there are two primary types of DUI charges, there are numerous potential defenses to DUI under New Jersey law. To determine what defenses you can assert to fight your drunk driving charge, you should promptly consult with an experienced New Jersey DUI attorney.
9 Possible Defenses to DUI Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with driving under the influence? Here are 10 examples of possible defenses to DUI charges in New Jersey:
1. The Breathalyzer Device Wasn’t Properly Calibrated
Breathalyzer devices require careful and routine calibration. If the device used during your DUI stop had not recently been calibrated, then your BAC results may be unreliable.
2. The Arresting Officer Administered the Breathalyzer Improperly
In addition to proper calibration of the testing device, breath tests also require proper administration by the arresting officer. If your breath test was administered improperly, this could provide a defense.
3. The Arresting Officer Failed to Read Your Rights
Before administering the breath test, the arresting officer must inform you of your rights under New Jersey’s implied consent law. This should be captured on the officer’s dashcam or body cam.
4. You Were Stopped Without Reasonable Suspicion
For your DUI stop to be lawful, the police officer must have “reasonable suspicion” that you are guilty of DUI or another traffic offense.
5. You Were Arrested Without Probable Cause
For your DUI arrest to be lawful, the police officer must have “probable cause” to believe that you are guilty of DUI.
6. There is an Alternate Explanation for Your Driving Behavior or BAC
Fatigue, distractions, medical conditions, consuming certain foods and various other factors can often explain erratic driving behaviors or an above-normal BAC.
7. The Arresting Officer Administered the Field Sobriety Tests Improperly
Similar to the breathalyzer, the field sobriety tests must also be administered according to specific protocols to provide reliable evidence of alcohol or drug impairment.
8. You Have a Medical Condition or Poor Balance
Various medical conditions (or simply having poor balance) can cause you to “fail” the field sobriety tests even if you are completely sober.
9. The Evidence Does Not Prove Your Guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Regardless of your BAC or level of impairment, it is up to the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution’s evidence is lacking, this can be enough to avoid a DUI conviction.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with a New Jersey DUI Attorney
To find out what defenses you can use to fight your drunk driving charge, schedule a confidential consultation with a New Jersey DUI attorney at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. Call 877-435-6371 or send us your contact information online now.
Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive experience in DUI defense as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our site, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.