Implied Consent in NJ DWI cases

The doctrine of implied consent means that every individual who drives a vehicle in New Jersey is consenting to a breathalyzer test if they are stopped by a law enforcement officer. The stop must be supported by probable cause and there must be reasonable suspicion that the driver is in fact intoxicated. This doctrine of implied consent was discussed in the New Jersey Supreme Court decision of Continue Reading...

Right to an independent test in DWI cases

There is a right to an independent blood test under New Jersey drinking and driving laws. A defendant may successfully challenge the introduction of a breathalyzer examination when he or she is "informed of his right to have an independent examination and attempts to take advantage of that right, but is not afforded a meaningful opportunity to have the independent test conducted. That is, it must Continue Reading...

Basics of DWI Stops

There are several important issues that can be raised that are unrelated to the level of intoxication of the defendant. The first involves the legal justification for the motor vehicle stop. Both the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution and Article 1, paragraph 7 of the New Jersey Constitution ban one type of search and seizure, one that is unreasonable. Searches and seizures that are Continue Reading...

More on New Jersey’s Plain View Exception to the Warrant Requirement

As I said in my previous article, New Jersey has yet to drop the inadvertence requirement from the plain view analysis as was done by the United States Supreme Court in Horton v. California, 496 U.S. 128 (1990). This issue was first presented to the Appellate Division in State v. Damplias, 282 N.J. Super 471 (1995). However, the court declined to rule on whether the inadvertence requirement (the Continue Reading...

Recent Alcotest Developments

There were arguments at the New Jersey Supreme Court this past Monday over the state's new drunk driving test, the Alcotest. The state Supreme Court judges must put their stamp of approval on the machine for it to go live statewide. For them to do so, they must determine that it is scientifically reliable enough to be used in DWI prosecutions in New Jersey. The Alcotest 7110, which would replace Continue Reading...