Police from three Gloucester County towns investigated a single-vehicle crash with a utility pole on August 26, 2017.
News reports indicate the cops determined the driver was under the influence of alcohol. But the media did not report about the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
Nevertheless, the cops arrested the driver and took breath samples with an Alcotest.
Afterwards, the police charged the driver with Driving While Intoxicated1 and other traffic offenses.
Alcotest 7110, Alcohol Influence Report
The Alcotest2 generates an Alcohol Influence Report (AIR). This document purportedly shows the result of the machine’s analysis of breath samples. But the AIR alone is not enough in a drunk driving prosecution.
Indeed, the law requires the State to provide additional Alcotest documents in discovery. Thus, before the State may introduce the AIR at trial, it must prove facts with respect to the machine.
Therefore, the State must prove the device was in working order and had been inspected according to procedure. Additionally, the State must prove the operator was certified. Furthermore, the State must prove the test was administered according to official procedure.3 Consequently, the State must give DUI defendants the foundation documents in addition to the Alcohol Influence Report.4
Alcotest 7110, Foundational Documents
Though hearsay, the foundational documents fall within the business record exception.5 These records comprise two categories. The first category consists of documents that directly show the Alcotest’s good working order at the time of the test. Meanwhile, the second category consists of documents that show the accuracy of the devices used and chemical composition of the solutions used to routinely test and calibrate the machine.6Accordingly, these twelve foundation documents7 are:
- New Standard Solution Report of the most recent control test solution change, and the credentials of the operator who performed that change;
- Certificate of Analysis for the 0.10 percent solution used in that New Solution Report;
- Draeger Safety Certificate of Accuracy for the Alcotest CU34 Simulator;
- Draeger Safety Certificate of Accuracy for the Alcotest 7110 Temperature Probe;
- Draeger Safety Certificate of Accuracy for the Alcotest 7110 Instrument;
- Calibration Records, including control tests, linearity tests, and the credentials of the coordinator who performed the calibration;
- Certificate of Analysis for the 0.10 percent solution used in the calibration control test;
- Certificate of Analysis for the 0.04, 0.08, and 0.16 percent solutions used in the calibration linearity test;
- New Standard Solution Report, following the most recent calibration;
- Draeger Safety Certificate of Accuracy for the Simulators used in calibration;
- Draeger Safety Certificate of Accuracy for the Alcotest 7110 Temperature Probe used in calibration; and
- Draeger Safety Ertco-Hart Calibration Report.
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1 N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2.
2 Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C with New Jersey Firmware 3.11.
3 Romano v. Kimmelman, 96 N.J. 66, 96 (1984).
4 State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54 (2008).
5 Id. at 142.
7 Id. at 153.