Big news broke last week that district attorneys in Essex, Middlesex, and several other counties are suspending the use of breath test evidence in court. The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office has only said it will be seeking continuances on breath test cases for now.
We still don’t even know exactly what prompted the district attorneys of most of Massachusetts’ counties to halt using breathalyzer evidence in current cases. An investigation is pending by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. News reports have suggested there are serious questions about the accuracy of at least some breathalyzer results that have been used in court.
But it is very clear that there are extremely serious questions about this evidence. It is a very big deal for district attorneys to voluntarily take this action. Breath test evidence is very important in convicting people of drunk driving (OUI under Massachusetts law).
The questions appear to be around how the machines are calibrated, but we still don’t know exactly how widespread any machine problems identified may be.Read More