Boston, MA - This week, the District Attorney Office in Massachusetts announced that they may need to discard thousands of breathalyzer tests as evidence in cases throughout the state - as many as 35,000 to be exact.
The Massachusetts district attorney recently found serious information regarding the reliability of the State’s breathalyzer equipment. According to officials, the equipment has failed its annual inspection for the past few years. With the exception of very serious cases involving alcohol, such as death caused by car crash or serious injury caused by an accident, thousands of breathalyzer results may have to be thrown away.
Prosecutors are stating that they will no longer be using any breathalyzer results from breath tests between the years of 2011 and 2017. The reason for this is due to the fact that the Office of Alcohol Testing, which is a part of the official state crime lab, has been withholding important evidence. Such important evidence states that some, not all, breathalyzer testing devices have failed in recent years’ annual inspections, in turn making the results invalid to use in a court of law.
Moving forward, Vincent DeMore, Assistant District Attorney of the Suffolk County, said the Office of Alcohol Testing must be accredited. In addition, the office must resolve all issues with the testing equipment, including but not limited to the accuracy of all tests administered.
DeMore stated in an interview on Tuesday that the public should not worry about the situation. The situation is in the hands of the officials, and they will handle it as best as they can. The confidence of the citizens should not be shaken due to the failed annual inspections. Instead of worrying, the public should go forward trusting that the breathalyzer equipment will do its job the right way. Inspections will be done yearly, accreditations will be documented, and cases will be taken care of the proper way.
Though these approximate 35,000 cases are still being reviewed in regards to the outcome of the situations (death, serious injury, nothing fatal), a judge still has to sign off on the ‘throwing away’ of breathalyzer results.