While we await the return of DUI checkpoints to the Jersey Shore, the Law Office of Frederick P. Sisto is happy to provide tips to help you avoid a wrongful DUI conviction.
The best defense to a DUI is a designated driver. This is true in large part because the rules that apply in DUI cases are consistently being devised to ensure as many convictions as possible. Consider the following long-standing precedent in New Jersey.
Extrapolation evidence, i.e. evidence based on known facts and related estimations, is not admissible in DUI cases. A defendant can not introduce testimony from a witness describing how many drinks he had over a period of time in order to raise reasonable doubt of intoxication. On the other hand, evidence that a defendant regularly became intoxicated based on layperson observations at a particular bar is admissible as evidence of habit to prove intoxication at the time of a car accident.
Drunk driving defendants can not challenge alcotest evidence based on the fact that people have broadly divergent ratios of breath alcohol relative to blood alcohol.
It is legally acceptable that the alcotest can wrongfully convict approximately 2.3% of suspected drunk drivers.
Proof of a .08 alcotest reading, not proof of a .08 blood alcohol concentration, establishes a per se violation of the DUI statute.
A DUI is a motor vehicle violation in New Jersey. It is not an offense under our criminal code. Thus, the code’s defenses, including involuntary intoxication, do not apply in DUI cases. That means that if someone drugs you without your knowing and you end up driving or attempting to drive, you can not use the crime committed against you as a defense in a DUI case. Drugging someone without their knowledge is an aggravated assault under our criminal code.
To convict a defendant of DUI, the State may use evidence obtained in violation of the patient-physician privilege.
These examples are not meant to suggest that DUI cases can not be won. They are meant to impress upon you the importance of using a designated driver. Or, if you fail to do so, the next best choice is to hire the most qualified attorney.
Stay tuned for additional checkpoint alerts and tips. Have a great week-end!