After a 56-year-old man was arrested for an alleged second drunk driving offence and was convicted, he then filed an appeal. He argued that he did not get enough documentation on the reliability of the Alcotest machine, the machine used to test the man’s blood alcohol level. The machine recorded the man’s blood alcohol level at 0.18, which is twice New Jersey’s legal limit.

The man filed the appeal on grounds that the Alcotest machine was inaccurate. In his defense to the court, the man also argued that the fact that he had apparently not exhibited any noticeable signs of intoxication suggests that the Alcotest machine may be inaccurate. It is reasonable to assume that if an individual was actually at twice the legal limit for driving, the person would exhibit some obvious signs of intoxication.

The Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor also argued that the man’s argument was “misguided” in inferring that the Alcotest machine was inaccurate based on the man’s performance at a traffic stop. The man did not appear to be drunk at the traffic stop. The Prosecutor stated that “practiced drunks” can “maintain a good appearance” even with a high blood-alcohol content and accused the man of being one of those people. The appeal panel denied the man’s appeal and upheld a two-day jail sentence and two-year license suspension for the man.

The man was also convicted of drunk driving, which resulted from a motor vehicle stop in January 2010. Two days after he lost the appeal for the 2009 conviction, he lost the appeal for the 2010 conviction. At the 2010 incident, the man allegedly refused to take the blood alcohol test.

The lower court’s verdict was delivered in Woodbury Heights for this case. The man claimed that the court did not have jurisdiction because he was in a different township. The Prosecutor argued that the Woodbury Heights court did have jurisdiction because the police officer observed the alleged crime taking place in Woodbury Heights and allegedly chased the man into West Deptford.

Source: West Deptford Patch, “Woodbury Heights Man Loses Drunk-Driving Appeal,” Brian Little, Feb 21, 2012