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NJ Alcotest To Be Replaced By 2016

Per The New Jersey Law Journal:

"Alcotest, the drunken-driving tester that replaced the Breathalyzer in New Jersey just five years ago, will soon be phased out of use, the state attorney general says in court papers.

"Because the machine’s manufacturer, Draeger Safety Diagnostics of Irving, Texas, will warranty it for only three more years, a replacement technology will have to be put in place by 2016.

"In the meantime, the state wants the Supreme Court to relax the controls on Alcotest that it set down in State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54 (2008), the seminal ruling that found the device scientifically reliable as evidence in DWI cases."

***

"Deputy Attorney General Robyn Mitchell[...]says the state’s decision to retire Alcotest came after it was unable to work with Draeger Safety to make programming revisions that would facilitate uploading of data from machines in police departments around the state to the centralized database.

"Draeger hired a software developer, Ayoka Systems, to work on that job. Draeger advised the state last November that it was not willing to continue employing Ayoka, according to Mitchell. Draeger wanted the state to retain Ayoka or another software company directly or do the work in-house. But the state lacked the resources to do the work itself and said it would have to put the work out to bid, which would cause a delay of six to nine months.

“'In light of Draeger’s decision to stop supporting the existing Alcotest 7110 instruments at the end of 2016 and the state’s lack of a direct business relationship with Ayoka, the time that it would take [to make the necessary software changes] will likely be comparable to the time it would take to implement a new breath testing program,' Mitchell says. 'Given that the Alcotest 7110 will become obsolete at the end of 2016, it makes more sense for the state to focus its attention and resources on replacing the Alcotest 7110.'

"Draeger officials did not respond to a reporter’s call about the case; nor did Arlington, Texas-based Ayoka."

***

"Jeffrey Gold, who represented the amicus curiae New Jersey State Bar Association in Chun, says, 'I really do find it outrageous, the gall the state has in saying, not only are we in violation of this order, in terms of changing the software, for five years, but we want another three years because we’re going to investigate another [machine].'"

Full article after the jump...