1,000's of Massachusetts Drivers Can Contest Convictions After State's Breathalyzer Mistakes
As many as 27,000 convicted drunk drivers in the state of Massachussetts may be able to fight their cases due to faulty breathalyzer tests. if they were convicted of being drunk driver.
In a 2016 case, scientific evidence found that breathalyzer evidence used by state police officers from 2011 to 2014 was unreliable due to administration practices or lack thereof. The case also discovered the Office of Alcohol Testing withheld more than 400 document detailing failed calibration of Breathalyzer machines.
One Boston criminal defense attorney, Paul Toland of Towland Law LLC, says that the state should be held responsible for the mistakes.
"This is a great example of how the Government needs to be held accountable for their actions. Although my sympathies go out to any victims of any DUI cases, the focus should be on how the Commonwealth failed to follow any protocols and withheld relevant information concerning the breathalyzer tests. The Courts will be further backed up due to the Commonwealth's negligence and let this be a lesson to the Government that they need to play by the rules too. This is why we have rules, laws, and due process in Court to make sure that anyone charged with a crime receives a fair trial under our Constitution. Given that the Commonwealth failed to play fair and purposely withheld information on these tests, then any defendant deserves at the least a new trial," he said.
Defendants who could be affected were convicted from 2011 through April 18th, 2019.