What if I Fail a Breathalyzer Test?

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driver receiving breathalyzer

New Jersey enforces what is known as an implied consent law. With this, you give implied consent to any breathalyzer or chemical test requested by a law enforcement officer who pulls you over on public record. So, you must submit to this test even if you do not believe you are driving while intoxicated (DWI) or that an officer had probable cause to stop you in the first place. Equally important is passing this test. Follow along to find out what happens if you fail your breathalyzer test and how a proficient Gloucester County DWI lawyer at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can help you in the event of false or inaccurate results.

What happens if I fail a breathalyzer test?

The way a breathalyzer test works is by your breathing air into this diagnostic device. Then, this device measures how much alcohol is in your breath, thereby estimating your blood-alcohol content (BAC). Of note, the legal limit for a BAC level while driving is 0.08 percent.

If a breathalyzer test indicates that your BAC level is higher even by just 0.001 percent, a law enforcement officer may inform you that you have failed. In turn, an officer may exercise their authority to arrest you on suspicion of a DWI. You may then have to defend your case in a New Jersey criminal court’s presence. Ultimately, if the court finds you guilty of a DWI, you may be up against serious jail time, fines, and other criminal consequences.

To avoid this series of unfortunate events, you must effectively dispute this accusation against you. Namely, you may argue that the breathalyzer test was improperly calibrated, negligently administered by a law enforcement officer, or part of an illegal stop by a law enforcement officer, among other things.

What are other field sobriety tests I have to worry about?

A law enforcement officer may similarly arrest you on suspicion of a DWI if you fail any other field sobriety tests they conduct during your stop. This is regardless of whether field sobriety tests are deemed less accurate than a breathalyzer test. So you must pass these tests too if you do not want the same series of unfortunate events to ensue as mentioned above. Without further ado, below are examples of field sobriety tests that you may have to worry about:

  • Examples of standardized field sobriety tests:
    • The horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
    • The walk and turn test.
    • The one-leg stand test.
  • Examples of non-standardized field sobriety tests:
    • The counting the number of fingers test.
    • The reciting the alphabet test.
    • The counting backward test.

In conclusion, there is no better time than now to act. So please reach out to one of the experienced New Jersey & Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers from The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. at your earliest possible convenience.

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