Interviewer: You mentioned that Daylight Saving Time, which happened in March of this year, caused an issue with the Alcotest. Can you tell me what happened?
Carl Spector: Yes, the Alcotest machine was not programmed to change the time on March 10, 2013 to reflect at 2 a.m. the new time. So there was a lag until April for the machine to actually switch to Daylight Saving Time. That change did not occur until 2 a.m. April 7th, nearly a month after the actual time change occurred on March 10th.
So there was and there still are a whole slew of cases in which the results of the Alcotest were recorded either inaccurately or erroneously. They are simply wrong because the machines were not changed; or the person who put the information into the machine prior to taking the Alcotest sample did not put it in accurately.
Interviewer: Should people who had a breath test in that range of time call you? Could this possibly be the defense of their case?
Carl Spector: That is the key to it. It is a possible defense, but it is not an absolute defense.
In fact, a memorandum came around from the State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General telling every municipality the procedure they are supposed to follow between March 10th and April 7th.
The memorandum specifically states that even if these policies and procedures are not followed, the reliability of the test is still good. It is still valid. However, it does create certain timeline issues because of the timing of the arrest and the timing of the test itself. So you are correct; that might be a possible defense.
By Carl Spector