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Personal breath testing devices could do more harm than good

There are all kinds of devices available to allegedly self-test an individual's level of intoxication. Everything from mobile applications to track eye movement through more complex options like breath testing devices that cost upwards of $300 are available for consumers in New Jersey and the rest of the nation. According to one report, this market yielded over $280 million in sales in 2011, and that figure is only expected in to increase.

However, these devices should be considered more as a form of entertainment than an accurate gauge of an individual's ability to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Even the most expensive breath testing machines available for personal use can yield incorrect readings if they are not calibrated correctly. Unfortunately, this could mean that some residents are leaving themselves vulnerable to charges related to drunk driving when they use these devices as meters for an ability to drive.

A judge will not care if an individual meant well or if their personal testing method said they were within the legal limit of intoxication for operating a vehicle. The only thing that will matter is the breath sample reading and related evidence an arresting officer provides. This means that individuals in New Jersey should not take personal testing methods as confirmation that they are not risking drunk driving charges.

If an individual does find themselves confronted with DUI/DWI charges in New Jersey, it is in their best interest to seek experienced legal representation that can defend the individual against the charges leveled against them. When the consequences associated with such a conviction could mean serious fines, loss of driver's license and even jail time, most can't afford to not seek a legal advice.

Source: The Street, "Your Own Personal Breathalyzer," Jan. 17, 2013

  • For more information about defending against drunk driving charges in New Jersey, please refer to our DUI defense page.

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