TRENTON, N.J. — Over 20,000 people found guilty of drunken driving in New Jersey could have their cases overturned after a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday, according to court documents.
Sgt. Marc Dennis, who was in charge of semi-annual calibration of breathalyzer tests in order to ensure accurate measurements, was indicted in 2016 for failing to follow calibration protocol.
In their unanimous decision issued Tuesday, the justices found that criminal charges against a state police Sgt. Marc Dennis, who was in charge of calibrating breath-testing devices made the test results from five counties inadmissible as evidence. Dennis was indicted in 2016 for failing to follow calibration protocol.
The decision means that as many as 20,667 DWI convictions could now be challenged.
Authorities have alleged that Sgt. Marc Dennis skipped a required step in the calibration of the devices. He has denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to records tampering and other charges.
The accusations called into question any test result involving a machine he handled, including devices used by local police in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union counties between 2008 and 2016.