Are Breathalyzer Testing Machines Accurate?
The reliability of the Drager Alcotest 9510 breath test machines used in Massachusetts drunk driving cases is a continuing concern for members of the defense bar. Massachusetts has adopted laws requiring a “guilty” finding upon a breathalyzer reading of .08 or higher. Many people are effectively tried, and convicted, by a simple machine print out. One machine is used in all cases no matter what your height, weight, age or sex. One size fits all! Are they calibrated frequently enough, and carefully enough, to assure any degree of accuracy? Many attorneys advise people to try to avoid a false reading by never taking the breathalyzer. This advice had significant consequences in terms of license loss. Others said doing so is fine if you only had one or two drinks. It is a tough decision to make if you are arrested and being asked to decide while in custody at a police station.
Stop The Music – Nobody Really Knows!
Within the past year a group of attorneys challenged the scientific accuracy of breath testing equipment in a case entitled Commonwealth v Ananias. That case determined that the systems used to calibrate, and regularly check breath testing machinery before 2014 were so defective that the results should not be allowed as evidence in drunk driving cases. It has recently been revealed that a number of scientific documents, that should have been disclosed in that litigation, were not provided to the attorneys handling the case for the Commonwealth. The reliability of Drager breath tests after 2014 are now also being put into question. Daniel J. Bennett, Secretary of the Public Safety for Massachusetts will be hiring a retired judge to investigate the matter. Until this matter is resolved many District Attorney’s offices are choosing not to submit breathalyzer reading in OUI trials. If you have a pending dunk driving case there is a lot to think about before you decide to go to trial.
For further information about OUI defense please visit our web site at http://www.kobanlaw.com/pt-services/attleboro-oui/