Revisiting Breath Test Evidence in Mass.

A Massachusetts judge has accepted an agreement, signed by all eleven of the state’s District Attorneys, to exclude breath test machine evidence obtained between 2011 and 2017 in tens of thousands of DUI cases. These convictions have been called into questioned because of litigation in Commonwealth v. Ananias, which showed that the Massachusetts Office of Alcohol Testing improperly calibrated the Draeger 9510 breath test machine. The improper calibration affected more than 35,000 breath test results, and the new agreement will result in the exclusion of these improper results from DUI trials and retrials.
This agreement will not automatically result in the dismissal of all DUI convictions from the affected period. Instead, retrials are only to be granted if a judge believes tainted breath test results were the only reason that a person was convicted or decided to plead guilty. Although Prosecutors have agreed to stop using breath test results obtained through this machine between 2011 and 2017, defense attorneys in the litigation are arguing that breath test machine results should not be accepted until the Massachusetts Office of Alcohol Testing obtains nationally recognized accreditation.
The Salem News published an overview of this agreement and the Massachusetts breath test machine scandal, available at http://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/tainted-breathalyzer-results-could-force-new-trials/article_1488e9d0-fde7-5380-a8b9-3dde85dbdd3a.html.

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