CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, December 7, 2006

North Jersey Police Lack Machines to Stop Drunk Drivers

From As the height of the holiday season approaches, police in several North Jersey communities say they soon might not be able to nab drunken drivers.

The reason: Replacement parts for Breathalyzer machines are no longer being made, and the state's highest court has kept police from employing newer technology.

Last year, at the direction of the state Attorney General's Office, police departments in 17 counties began replacing the five-decades-old Breathalyzer with the newer Alcotest, which spits out a paper reading of a driver's blood-alcohol level.

A ruling by the state Supreme Court this year forced New Jersey officials to halt the rollout, leaving four counties – Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Essex – in DWI testing limbo.

Law enforcement officials are awaiting a ruling on the validity and scientific integrity of the new units. When that will occur – in a case that is more than a year old – is uncertain.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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