NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted March 5, 2013
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Municipal Appeal No. 01-36-11.
Rem Zeller Law Group, attorneys for appellant (Joseph P. Rem, Jr., of counsel; Lisa R. Paitchell, on the brief).
John L. Molinelli, Bergen County Prosecutor, attorney for respondent (William Miller, Assistant Prosecutor, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Harris and Hoffman.
Defendant Dawn Lopez appeals from her de novo conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Defendant argues that her conviction should be vacated due to violations of her rights under the federal and state constitutions. We affirm.
On June 16, 2010, defendant was involved in an automobile accident. The Bergen County Police Department sent an officer to respond to the scene. At the scene, the officer observed indications that led him to believe defendant had been DWI. The officer had defendant perform field sobriety tests, which confirmed his suspicions. He arrested defendant on charges of DWI and careless driving, then transported her to headquarters.
At headquarters, another officer administered an Alcotest breath examination to defendant, which produced a reading of 0.16 percent blood alcohol content.
On November 9, 2010, the Central Municipal Court of Bergen County heard defendant's motion to suppress the Alcotest results. Defendant argued, in part, that the results should be suppressed due to the State's failure to use the Ertco-Hart Thermometer. The municipal court judge decided to adjourn the matter until State v. Holland, 422 N.J.Super. 185 (App. Div. 2011), then still pending, was decided, as it concerned the same argument.
On December 7, 2010, the municipal court heard the testimony of the arresting officer pertaining to his observations of defendant. The judge reserved his decision, as we had yet to issue an opinion in Holland.
On June 20, 2011, following our decision in Holland, the municipal court denied defendant's motion to suppress the Alcotest results. On the same date, the officer who administered the Alcotest on defendant began his testimony. However, the officer was unable to complete his testimony, as he had failed to bring his "Alcotest checklist, " which he indicated he needed for reference. Over defendant's objection, the judge adjourned the matter to permit the testifying officer to retrieve his checklist for use at the next court date. Defendant argued that the multiple adjournments violated her right against double jeopardy. U.S. Const. amend. VI; N.J. Const. art. I, ¶ 11.
On August 9, 2011, the officer who administered the Alcotest was over an hour late to court. Over defendant's objection, the judge again adjourned the trial. This time, defendant contended that the postponement violated her right to a ...