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Court ruling could erase 20,000 drunken driving convictions

November 13, 2018

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey Supreme Court decision could cause more than 20,000 drunken driving convictions to be vacated.

State justices issued a decision Tuesday finding that criminal charges against a state police sergeant have made the test results from five counties inadmissible as evidence.

State authorities and a plaintiff’s lawyer say 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.

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