The Drager Alcotest 7110 Machine
New Jersey’s “breathalyzer” is called the Alcotest machine, which is manufactured by a German company called Drager Industries. The State of New Jersey adopted Drager’s Alcotest 7110 as our official breath test machine after the landmark DWI decision in State v. Chun found that the machine was scientifically reliable. Like all breath machines, the Alcotest is a device which is used to measure a drunk driving suspect’s blood alcohol content. The Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C does this by actually taking two separate breath samples from each suspect and then sends those samples one at a time through the machine’s two testing chambers. The first chamber analyzes alcohol contained in the breath sample by using a chemical reaction from an electrochemical cell (referred to as the EC result). Next the machine sends the same breath sample into a second chamber where it is tested using infrared lights called infrared spectroscopy (referred to as the IR result). Once IR result is completed the machine purges itself of the air sample and gets ready for the second breath sample from the suspect. This will ultimately result in 4 BAC readings – 2 EC results and 2 IR results. This system which uses two separate and accurate technologies to test the same breath sample is intended to provide the highest level of accuracy and legal integrity. In order for the machine to give a successful final BAC, all 4 readings must be within a certain tolerance of one another to be considered a “true” reading. This is done by plugging the numbers into an algorithm referenced in Chun. Moreover, the state allows gives the defendant the benefit of the doubt by taking the lowest of the 4 readings and rounding down to the second decimal place. For example if your readings are 0.148%, 0.139%, 0.145% and 0.150% then your reading final BAC reading would be 0.139%.
It is important to note that there are many more requirements that must be followed in order to achieve an accurate and true reading. In order for the Alcotest to receive and acceptable breath sample, the suspect must meet certain requirements such as a minmum air volume and blowing duration. If the sample is too small the machine cannot test it and you can be charged with Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test if the police are unable to obtain any readings. Moreover, the mouth piece must be changed between each breath to minimize the effects of any residual alcohol. There must also be a two minute lock out between each breath sample to ensure the machine has enough time to purge the last breath sample before taking a new one. Other requirements include that the police officers must observe the suspect continuously and uninterrupted for 20 minutes directly prior to blowing into the machine as well making sure all radio devices, including cell phones are removed from the testing room.
To learn more information about the Alcotest 7110, you can visit Drager Industry’s website here.
ALCOTEST CERTIFIED NJ DWI ATTORNEY
As you can see from above, the Alcotest 7110 is an impressive machine, but it does not mean that it is unbeatable. In fact, in the majority of DWI cases we handle, we are able to get the Alcotest readings suppressed. A breath reading can be suppressed in a number of different ways such as the police officers failing to administer the machine correctly and follow the protocol, by showing the machine may not have been working properly on the day in question, or that the state failed to provide a material piece of discovery to authenticate the machine’s proper calibration. These example provide our defense attorneys the opportunity to challenge the state’s case against our clients. We take the Alcotest 7110 and its operation very seriously. In fact, our firm’s founding attorney, Will Proetta is one of just a handful of attorneys in New Jersey who is certified by Drager Industries in the correct operation and maintenance of the Alcotest 7110. If you would like to learn more about how we may be able to help you defend your DWI charges, contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation.