Breath Test Certificates not Testimonial under Crawford – State v. Dorman

On Friday, the Appellate Division held in State v. Dorman that breath test instrument inspection certificates (BTIIC) are admissible in evidence as business records under NJURE 803(c)(6) and are not testimonial in nature, as defined in Crawford v. Washington, 41 U.S. 36 (2004) for confrontation clause purposes.

The Court reasoned in its holding that, unlike blood test result certificates from the State Police Labs which are prepared for use in a single, identifiable prosecution, breath test instrument inspection certificates are not created for use in any particular case and are typical business records.(It should be noted that they are often created weeks or months before the defendant has been arrested for drunk driving.)

The Appellate Division’s holding in Dorman approves, in general terms, a Law Division case from Camden County that reached the same conclusion on a Crawford objection to the admissibility of the BTIIC See State v. Godshalk, 381 N.J. Super. 386 (Law Div. 2005).

Download a copy of State v. Dorman.

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