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Totowa NJ DWI Defense Attorney: Explaining Breath Tests in DWI Cases

DWI Defense Lawyer Serving Clients in Passaic County, New Jersey

Alissa D. Hascup is an experienced criminal defense attorney who represents clients throughout New Jersey, including Paterson, Clifton, Passaic, and Totowa who have been charged with DWIs and criminal offenses such as aggravated assault, criminal sexual contact, and terroristic threats.

Ms. Hascup has successfully handled countless of cases in New Jersey, in Superior Court (indictable/felony level offenses) and Municipal Court (disorderly persons/misdemeanor level offenses). She is a former Municipal Prosecutor and, in that capacity, was responsible for the prosecution of countless DWI/DUI cases. Now she is fighting for you.

Contact Ms. Hascup’s office anytime for an initial consultation, which is always provided free of charge. Please continue reading this page for more information about DWI charges and DWI breath tests in New Jersey.

Breath Tests in New Jersey DWI Prosecutions

If you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, you will be arrested and cited for DWI. (One exception to this is underage drivers, who are subject to a DWI charge if they have consumed any amount of alcohol.) In the vast majority of DWI cases, NJ prosecutors use a breath-test result to prove the defendant’s level of intoxication.

So long as the police officer has probable cause to stop the driver, New Jersey’s implied consent law mandates that all persons driving on NJ roadways must submit to a breath test when arrested on suspicion of DWI. Refusal to submit to a breath test may result in the police administering a blood test. Refusal to provide a breath sample can also lead to additional charges and penalties.

If a police officer suspects that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol, he or she typically administers one (1) of two (2) types of breath tests:

  • A portable breath test (also known as “PBT”) administered during a roadside stop. The PBT device is carried in patrol cars. The tests are voluntary, meaning that you have the right to refuse to take the test. Additionally, PBT results are not admissible in court. This is because PBTs are notoriously unreliable and often give false-positive readings.
  • A breath test administered at the police station. The device used in New Jersey is the Alcotest 7110. NJ law requires a driver to submit to a breath test at the police station.

Defenses Available to a DWI Charge: Challenging the Results of the Breath Test

Failing a breath test does not mean an automatic conviction for DWI. Even if you have failed a breath test, there are defenses available to a DWI charge.

For instance, an experienced attorney may be able to challenge the legitimacy of the police stop by demonstrating that the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle in the first place. If the police did not have a legal reason for stopping your vehicle, then it was an illegal stop and all evidence obtained can be suppressed.

Additionally, your attorney might question the reliability of the equipment used to administer the breath test. This is where Alissa Hascup’s knowledge of the Alcotest 7110 device is crucial. She can look at the device’s usage logs and calibration records to determine if the results of your breath test can be challenged.

Beyond that, Ms. Hascup might be able to get your DWI charge dismissed if the police failed to follow necessary safeguards when administering the breath test. The officer is required to administer two (2) tests, with the second test coming within two (2) minutes of the first test and the mouthpiece being changed between tests.

Contact a Passaic County NJ Alcotest 7110 Certified DWI Defense Lawyer

The state of New Jersey uses the Alcotest 7110 breath-testing device to prosecute DWI cases. In 2008, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the Alcotest 7110 is scientifically reliable. This led to the Alcotest replacing the Breathalyzer in NJ DWI cases. Ms. Hascup understands the proper maintenance and operation requirements of the Alcotest device, which gives her an edge when the time comes to challenge the admissibility of the breath-test result in your case.

Contact Alissa Hascup today so she can look over the evidence in your DWI case and formulate a strategy to help you avoid DWI penalties. Call or email Ms. Hascup without delay.

Contact Us

If you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you want a battle-tested, aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side. Alissa D. Hascup will protect your rights and your freedom. She is highly skilled and incredibly motivated and puts clients first – always.

Please contact Ms. Hascup’s office today to request a free initial consultation about your criminal charges. She will review the facts of your case, answer your questions, and explain how she can best defend you.

Ms. Hascup can be reached 24/7. For your convenience, she offers night and weekend appointments, as well as virtual appointments.

Courts We Serve

In Passaic County, including Paterson, Clifton, Wayne, Passaic, West Milford, Hawthorne, Little Falls, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Woodland Park, Wanaque, Totowa, North Haledon, Haledon, Bloomingdale, and Prospect Park, in Morris County, including Morristown, Parsippany, Denville, Randolph, Rockaway, Madison, Boonton, Dover, East Hanover, Montville, Lincoln Park, Pequannock, Butler, and Riverdale, in Essex County, including Newark, East Orange, West Orange, South Orange, Irvington, Bloomfield, Montclair, Belleville, Nutley, Maplewood, Millburn, Verona, Cedar Grove, West Caldwell, Glen Ridge, Fairfield, and Roseland.


999 Riverview Drive

Totowa, NJ 07512

165 East Main Street

Denville, NJ 07834