Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bulletin: Miscalibrated breathalizer machine debacle: Massachusetts: Proecutors in Martha's Vineyard have suspended use of the breathalyzer test in court. Martha's Vineyard Times

"Prosecutors seeking a conviction of drivers arrested for drunk driving on Martha’s Vineyard have one less weapon in their arsenal, at least temporarily until questions are resolved about the accuracy of breathalyzer tests used across the state. Massachusetts law sets the maximum legal concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream (BAC) for an adult operating a motor vehicle at 0.08. For a minor under the age of 21, this limit is 0.02. The breathalyzer machine measures the amount of alcohol in an individual’s blood. The issue, according to published reports, is that the machines may not have been calibrated to the degree of accuracy state law requires. The state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security recently began a probe into testing procedures. State officials have so far identified 69 faulty cases out of about 6,000, according to reports in the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. As a result, prosecutors across the state, including Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe, have suspended use of the test results in court until a statewide review is completed."