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Tongue stud leads to reduced charges in New Jersey DUI case

As most New Jersey drivers are aware, .08 is the legal blood alcohol limit for intoxication, as registered by the Breathalyzer test. Any amount over .08 could result in a drunk driving arrest. A DUI can result in fines, jail time, loss of driver's license, enrollment in required alcohol awareness classes, and more.

A recent DUI charge in New Jersey came to an interesting conclusion. A 29-year-old woman was pulled over on Route 46 on a Saturday in January because the police officer suspected she was intoxicated. The woman underwent field sobriety tests and submitted to taking a Breathalyzer test to measure her blood alcohol level.

The Breathalyzer reading was .21, nearly three times the legal limit. Had the charge stood, the woman would have been required to pay a $300 fine in addition to court costs and seven months license suspension. However, in court, the woman's lawyer argued that the blood alcohol reading was invalid because of the tongue stud the defendant had in her mouth. New Jersey law requires the blood alcohol test be taken with no foreign materials in the defendant's mouth.

The blood alcohol reading was voided. However, based on other factors, a judge can still find a person guilty of drunk driving without the blood alcohol reading. In this situation, the woman pleaded guilty but received reduced charges.

If you or someone you love is facing drunk driving charges, it's important that you contact an experienced attorney right away. A strong defense that takes every aspect of the arrest and the sobriety testing into account can often result in reduced or dismissed charges.

Source: Mount Olive Chronicle, "Tongue stud helps woman reduce drunk driving charge in Mount Olive," Phil Garber, April 30, 2012

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