In New Jersey, Breathalyzer Has Competition

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In 2003, the state of New Jersey developed its own device for calculating alcohol content that was rumored to be more efficient than the standard breathalyzer. The Alcohol 7110 is being used in 17 of the states’ 21 counties to measure BAC, pioneered by DWI defense attorney Evan Levow. The device uses infrared absorption technology and cell analysis to measure the amount of ethanol in a breath sample. The instrument will give off a light sensor upon detection of alcohol on a person’s breath or clothes. There must be a total of 128 readings to indicate the presence of alcohol, and this is accomplished by measuring the amount of alveolar air, and how much of it appears to be intoxicating the individual. Upon evaluation, the 7110 prints a copy of the control test to ensure that the breath tests were correct when administered. It also includes the ambient air check, the flow rate of each breath sample, and the breath alcohol result which in order to not be charged with a serious DUI, must be the lowest of 4 readings, two IR and two IC.5 years later however, the negative affects of the 7110 are coming to light, including high breath temperatures that can distort blood alchol content measurements, thus resulting in inaccurate charges, and violation of the accused driver’s rights. Yet the state continues to rely on the 7110 as the breathalyzers become more outdated, and the demand for their spare parts has declined steadily since 2003. In contrast, certification for the Alcohol 7110 devices went into affect that year, and legal disputes were resolved in January 2006.The case has mad its way to the Supreme Court on more than one occasion, and the Supreme Court finally rules that the breath test evidence gathered from the 7110 test is admissable in court. On the other hands, police and other figures of authority are obligated by various safeguards, especially since drunk driving cases in New Jesey are reported to judges instead of juries, and there remains a prominent reliance on breath est results.

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