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New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling Dismissing Breath Test Results Due to Improperly Certified Machines Could Overturn 20,000 DUI Convictions

Whether the machine used to administer your breath test was properly certified could make or break the state’s case against you. Illinois regulations set forth several parameters and guidelines the state must comply with to ensure that any machine used to administer a blood or breath test is accurate. If the machine used to administer a breath or blood test was not properly calibrated or tested, any results from the test should arguably be precluded as their accuracy cannot be verified. When it is revealed that the state cannot prove a machine used to administer chemical testing to DUI suspects is accurate, it often affects more than one case and the effects can be far-reaching.

Recently, in State v. Cassidy, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that any results from machines that were not properly calibrated for several years were inadmissible, and ordered the state to notify all affected defendants so they could seek appropriate relief. It is estimated that over 20,0000 convictions will be affected by the Cassidy decision, arguably making it one of the most substantial rulings in favor of DUI defendants in recent times. If you are charged with a DUI you should retain an experienced Illinois DUI to attorney analyze the accuracy of any evidence that may be used against you.

New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling

Reportedly, the police officer in charge of calibrating the breath test machines for several New Jersey counties and ensuring that the machines were accurate failed to take a required step in the process, potentially affecting over 20,0000 breath test results. In State v. Cassidy, the Supreme Court of New Jersey analyzed whether the failure to perform all the tests needed to ensure the accuracy of the machines called into question the reliability of the tests.

The state argued that the test the officer failed to conduct was only one of several steps to ensure the accuracy of the machines, and the lack of one test did not mean the results generated from the machines were inaccurate. The court disagreed, however, finding that the omission was a cause for considerable doubt as to the reliability of the tests. As such, the court found that results of breath tests from any machines that were not properly calibrated were inadmissible. The court ordered the state to notify all affected defendants to allow them to seek appropriate relief.

Illinois Law Regarding Calibration of Breath Test Machines

Like New Jersey, Illinois has regulations that impose testing guidelines upon the state for any machine used to test blood alcohol levels, to verify the accuracy of results of breath tests. If results from a blood or breath test are proven to be inaccurate they are inadmissible. Without a test indicating the blood alcohol level of a DUI suspect the state is often unable to prove the suspect’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, the Illinois courts have reversed convictions in DUI cases, where the state failed to properly verify the accuracy of a machine used to administer a breath test.

Consult a Knowledgeable Illinois DUI Attorney Today

If you are charged with a DUI in Illinois, it is important to consult a knowledgeable Illinois DUI attorney to thoroughly scrutinize any evidence that may be used against you. Harvatin Law Offices, PC vigorously defends people charged with DUI throughout Illinois. Contact our office at 217.525.0520 to set up a meeting.

More Blog Posts:

Maine Supreme Court Rules Extrinsic Evidence Can Be Used to Establish Enhancing Factors for an Aggravated DUI Charge  Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, November 13, 2018.

Nebraska Supreme Court Rules Evidence of a Refusal to Submit to a Warrantless Blood Test is Admissible to Show Guilt of DUI Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, October 27, 2018.

Nebraska DUI Cases Affected by Fraudulent Certification of Breathalyzer Tests Illinois DUI Lawyer Blog, May 15, 2018.