When you’ve been arrested and charged with drinking and driving in New Jersey, you may want to simply be done with the legal process. To that end, you may ask your lawyer if a plea bargain can be reached. The answer—no! New Jersey does not allow plea bargaining in DUI cases. For that reason, the best ways to minimize the consequences of an arrest for drunk driving are twofold: either get the charges dismissed on a technicality, or successfully exclude evidence, such as blood tests, so that you can reduce the charges.
Challenging Blood Tests
One of the most effective and fundamental ways to defend a DUI charge is to bring the reliability of blood tests into question. There are a number of ways to do this. Some of the questions that might be asked to raise legitimate concerns about the reliability of the tests include:
- Who performed the blood test? Was it a licensed doctor or registered nurse? If not, you may have cause for challenge. Or, if you don’t know who took the test and can’t produce that person to testify at trial, the case may be dismissed
- Did the person drawing the blood use an iodine swab to clean the skin? Iodine swabs have been show to alter the readings on a blood alcohol test.
- When was the blood alcohol test machine last serviced? Is there evidence that the machine gave inconsistent readings or false positives in the past?
- Is there any leftover blood for an independent test? If not (if the state discarded the blood), you may be able to argue that, because you can’t do an independent test, the charges should be dismissed.
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