New Jersey Study Approves New DUI Breath Test Device

By Mary Ann

A new DUI breath testing machine, the Alcotest 7110, was approved by a committee appointed by New Jersey’s Supreme Court. The Court appointed a retired justice to review the Alcotest after its results were challenged by defense attorneys. Unlike the Breathalyzer, which must be configured by hand, the Alcotest is fully automated and connected to a computer.

The Breathalyzer has been so widely used, since 1954, that DUI breath test devices are generically know as a ‘breathalyzer.’ A DUI breath test device measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath and mathematically converts the alcohol concentration to blood alcohol content (BAC). Every state’s DUI law declares that a driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent is presumptively DUI.

Following a yearlong review, retired Appellate Judge Michael King recommended that the new device should be considered “acceptable for evidentiary breath tests in New Jersey.” King wrote in his report, “indeed, we find the Alcotest 7110 with proper foundational proofs much more scientifically reliable and independent of operator influence, intentional or inadvertent, than the Breathalyzer.”

Many states have replaced Breathalyzers with new devices relying on chemical processes or using infrared light readings

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