Before officers in New Jersey can arrest you for DWI, they must first determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), typically with a breathalyzer test. If you register 0.08% or higher on this test, the police will probably arrest you.
In these scenarios, defendants often give up and prepare to face the consequences that accompany a DWI conviction. They do not think there is any way to fight their charges, even if they were not intoxicated. However, it might be possible to challenge the results of a failed breathalyzer test successfully.
Many factors can cause a false positive
Breathalyzer technology works well, but it has a few flaws that could skew BAC readings. For example, if the breathalyzer is not maintained or calibrated well, its readings may not be accurate. These tests can also return an incorrect reading based on a number of factors. Here are four examples.
- Body type: Alcohol affects different bodies in different ways. For example, those of small stature and weight (like women) may reach a high BAC faster than larger individuals.
- Emotional state: Experiencing stress or strong emotions can cause a low BAC until the person calms down, at which point their BAC may surge.
- What else you have or haven’t consumed: Drinking on an empty stomach and consuming carbonated drinks can both cause a high BAC when tested.
- Medicines: Many drugs like flu medicine and allergy tablets may affect your BAC, and it can also be dangerous to mix medications with alcohol.
If you are facing a DWI charge, you may want to consider challenging your breathalyzer test results. In many cases, it is possible to avoid a DWI conviction when factors like those above are present.