Women Over 60 and DWI Charges: Something You Should Know
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Tue Apr 2019
There are all kinds of quotes that pertain to aging and getting older. However, you’re likely grasping as the correlation between women over 60 and DWI charges. If you fall into this category, you should know that your age and sex may well contribute to your legal defense.
As far as you’re concerned, 60 is the new 30. You’re aging gracefully, and you enjoy life. When you’re out with friends, you respect the fact that you need to find your way home. It may be routine to enjoy a few glasses of wine before you get behind the wheel.
More than likely, you’ve heard all the stories or even seen the billboards against buzzed driving. You’ve dismissed them as meaning you’re not okay just because you’ve had a couple of drinks. After all, there’s no chance that a little alcohol might impair your judgment.
Meanwhile, the law says otherwise. Buzzed driving often results in drunk driving charges. And, it’s something you might discover when you’re pulled over at a routine checkpoint.
Your worst nightmare starts when the police officers ask for your credentials and smell alcohol on your breath. As the stop proceeds, the authorities request that you submit to an Alcotest. In years past, some referred to the breath test machine as a breathalyzer.
Put aside the fact that the courts recently challenged many Alcotest results because of problems with the way a New Jersey police sergeant calibrated the devices. You may have an entirely different defense. In fact, it has everything to do with the fact that you are a woman over 60.
Women Over 60 and the Alcotest
First, you should know there are consequences to refusing a breath test if you’re accused of driving while intoxicated. Even if you’re worried about the results, you could cause yourself more trouble than you’d imagine.
In the meantime, there’s an interesting phenomenon when it comes to women over 60 and the Alcotest. In fact, the Supreme Court case of State v. Chun actually addresses this issue.
Breath volume adds to the accuracy of breath tests taken to assess blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. According to New Jersey requirements, those requested to submit to Alcotest need to provide 1.5 liters of air within just a few seconds.
One problem. The Chen decision demonstrated an issue woman over 60 have with providing the same breath volume as both younger individuals and male counterparts. Therefore, the case established the need to reprogram machines for women over 60 faced with drunk driving charges.
Instead of the 1.5-liter minimum volumes, the rule for women over 60 means reprogramming the Alcotest device to 1.2 liters.
If you are a woman over 60 arrested for drunk driving, your attorney will absolutely want to review the charges regarding your breath sample. They may be critical to your defense.