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Massachusetts judge updates use of alcohol breath tests

January 10, 2019 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts district court judge has ruled that alcohol breath tests will continue to be excluded as evidence from most drunken driving cases until the state police’s troubled Office of Alcohol Testing is nationally accredited.

Exceptions include OUI cases in which there was death or serious injury and in cases where the defendant is facing a fifth or subsequent OUI offense.

The Republican reported Wednesday that Judge Robert Brennan says the office must undergo major reforms and links the general admissibility of breath test evidence to the office submitting an application for accreditation that is “likely to succeed.”

The decision comes after a judge found the office failed to release information to prosecutors and defense attorneys that more than 400 breath test machines were calibrated improperly. The machines were later re-calibrated to work correctly.


This story has been corrected to show that that some breath tests will continue to be admitted as evidence in the most egregious cases.