JD Supra contributor, Patrick Barone, has been steadily posting filings, decisions, and articles related to his specialty – drunk driving litigation. Today, he posted the March 17, 2008 decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court in the case of State v. Chun. The Court held that the Alcotest was a scientifically reliable way to test alcohol levels for prosecution of defendants under New Jersey’s drunk driving laws, and that its results were admissible in court, though the machine contained certain errors that required correction. While Mr. Barone is not involved in this litigation, he is friendly with the lawyers involved – and is certainly an expert on the scientific issues surrounding alcohol level testing.
Mr. Barone received an undergraduate degree in Science and Biology. After law school, he worked as a medical malpractice defense attorney, but then turned his attention to drunk driving defense. According to Mr. Barone, his scientific background enables him to better represent his clients, as drunk driving prosecutions are often rife with troubling scientific issues. These issues are not limited to breath tests but include, among other things, the ankle bracelet known as SCRAM, which purports to measure alcohol levels through skin perspiration. Mr. Barone will be lecturing on this device at the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s 15th Annual "Mastering Scientific Evidence in DWI/DUI Cases" on March 27, 2008.