Massachusetts Judge Bans Use Of Breathalyzer Test In Court

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BOSTON (AP/WBZ-AM) -- A Massachusetts District Court has ruled that no Breathalyzer tests administered in the state can be used as evidence in court until the Office of Alcohol Testing proves its results are accurate.

The Republican reported Wednesday that Judge Robert Brennan says the office must undergo major reforms, including providing additional training for staff and instituting rules for complying with discovery requests similar to those followed by the state police's crime management unit.

The Suffolk District Attorney's office told WBZ NewsRadio that breathalyzer tests can still be used as evidence in "egregious cases like OUI motor vehicle homicide, OUI causing serious bodily injury, and the high-end subsequent offenses"--as long as the devices are proven to have been correctly calibrated and certified.

The decision comes after a judge found the office failed to release evidence to lawyers representing drunken driving defendants that showed around 400 Breathalyzer results were flawed.

The technical leader of the office was fired, and prosecutors tossed evidence from thousands of drunken driving cases as a result.

The office plans to apply for national accreditation by August 2019.

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