New Jersey DWI State v. Baluski
Recently, a ruling was published in a case that I have been fighting for over a year. My client was arrested for DWI in Stafford Township and was taken to the Bass River police barracks for testing.
Any type of testing, whether it is blood or breath testing had to follow certain procedures to be valid. For breath testing, the subject needs to be under strict observation for at least 20 minutes before a test can be conducted. In this case, I requested to inspect the breath testing room in order to determine whether it was physically possible to observe the defendant for the requisite twenty minute period. The Municipal Court denied this request. I then proceeded to appeal this decision to the Law Division, which reversed the Municipal Court decision. However, the Attorney General appealed to the Appellate Division which held defense attorney may have access to the breath testing room only with a showing of reasonable need.
So, in short, I was successful in getting attorney’s access to the breath testing room. I feel this is an important precedent which allows the defense to ensure that the proper testing procedures are being following. If the proper procedures are not being followed then the test results maybe invalidated. This is very important because in a DWI case, the key piece of evidence is the forensic report. We need to ensure that these reports are indeed valid so that innocent people don’t wind up getting convicted.