D.C. Mayor Vince Gray announced that starting Friday MPD will again be using a breathalyzer machine to test drivers for alcohol intoxication. The Breathalyzer program has been suspended for almost two years, after prosecutors at OAG withheld evidence of flawed test results and innocent defendants were prosecuted.
Eventually, nearly 400 people were convicted, and many sent to jail, based on bogus test results. No action was taken against the police who messed up the testing, or the prosecutors at the Attorney General’s office, who hid the phony test results from defense counsel and the Court.
Dozens of falsely convicted motorists sued, and tax payers have forked over tens of thousands of dollars settle these cases.
Now DC has spent hundreds of thousands more dollars on new breathalyzer machines, whose accuracy is unknown. The manufacture refuses to produce the source code, so independent experts have not be able to verify its accuracy. Tennessee recently tested the device extensively and decided not to use it.
Worse, the police and prosecutors have a track record of concealing testing flaws. Whether a DC breath test result is accurate is anyone guess. We may not find out until months or years later, when tax payers will have to compensate more DC drivers who have been wrongly convicted.