Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817
(732) 572-0500
Kenneth Vercammen was included in the “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

6/27/2014 STATE VS. CAMPBELL A-5535-12T4

Defendant appeals his conviction of drunk driving ("DWI") and the trial court's denial of declaratory relief on his claim of unconstitutionality.
Defendant's prosecution was based upon an Alcotest reading of his blood alcohol content ("BAC") above the per se level of .08 prohibited by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a). He argues that case law authorizing the admission of Alcotest BAC results when the prerequisites for such admissibility are shown by "clear-and-convincing" proof, coupled with the statute's conclusively incriminating treatment of a BAC at or above .08, improperly combine to relieve the State of its constitutional burden of proving a driver's guilt by the more rigorous standard of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt."
We reject defendant's claim of unconstitutionality. The argument fails to distinguish the State's threshold burden of establishing the Alcotest's evidential admissibility from the State's ultimate burden at trail of establishing defendant's guilt of a per se offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if a pretrial motion to suppress the BAC results has been denied, a defendant can still present competing evidence or arguments at trial to persuade the court that the testing procedures were flawed and that stringent his guilt has not been proven by the more reasonable doubt standard.