“How can they prove that I was intoxicated when I was arrested for DWI?”

“The two most common ways for the State to prove that a driver was intoxicated are through the breath test results and the observations of the police officer (which includes field sobriety testing).”


Can the State prove I was drunk? New Jersey DWI Defense Tactics

When you are stopped for a potential violation of New Jersey’s drinking and driving law, there are several ways that the State can try and prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The first and most common way is through the breath test results which were obtained at the police station. If you were driving and your blood alcohol content was .08% or higher, and the machine was working properly, then the State will use those test results in court to try and convict you of DWI.

If the machine wasn’t working properly or you refused to provide a breath sample, the State can still proceed with your DWI charge based on the observations of the police officer. This evidence will include but is not limited to:

  • erratic driving
  • odor of alcohol on your breath
  • admissions (did you admit you had a few drinks?)
  • open container of alcohol in your car
  • performance on the field sobriety tests

The field sobriety tests typically include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (known as the “HGN” test which they perform using a light and your eyes), the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand test. These tests have standard instructions, demonstrations, and grading scales which must be used by the officers if they are done properly.

If the State proceeds with this evidence including the testimony of the police officer and any video evidence from the police vehicle or the police station, the Judge then has to decide whether or not the case was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If there was an accident and you were taken to the hospital, sometimes where are no field sobriety tests done. In those cases, the State would rely on your blood test results taken at the hospital.

On a drug DUI case, the State would typically take a urine sample and rely on those results as well as a drug recognition expert (known as a “DRE”) who conducts specialized tests on you at the police station to determine whether or not you are under the influence of drugs.

A seasoned DWI defense lawyer can attack all of the State’s evidence to try and get the case dismissed for you. We have literally handled thousands of these cases with great success. Mr. Tormey is certified on the Alcotest machine, the only breath testing machine used in New Jersey. This means that he is licensed to operate the breath machine just like the police officers in your case. This allows him to examine the videos and Alcotest documents to try and get the breath test results thrown out of court.

Arrested, Charge with DWI in New Jersey and Need a Lawyer – Call Us Now

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with drunk driving and you need help, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us now for immediate assistance at 201-556-1570. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.


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With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation. With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

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Learn More About How to Fight Your Charges

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

The Tormey Law Firm

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Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Somerset County including Morristown, Denville, Dover, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Hackensack, East Rutherford, Elmwood Park, Englewood, Fort Lee, Garfield, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ridgefield Park, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Clifton, and Wayne.

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    254 State Street Hackensack, NJ 07601

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    (908) 336-5008

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