Recently, it was reported that 400 people were convicted of driving under the influence in Washington D.C. since fall of 2008 and half were sentenced to jail time. Unfortunately, city officials now say these individuals were convicted based upon the results of faulty breath testing machines.
According to D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles, the breath test machines were improperly adjusted by law enforcement officers. The people who were ordered to serve time in jail generally spent at least five days in police custody.
At this time, Nickles's office is working to notify the drivers that were arrested for driving under the influence and at least one lawsuit has been filed against the District. Many say that the faulty tests could lead to requests for expungements, new trials and will leave people skeptical of breath alcohol testing.
When people are charged with drunk driving, they commonly contest the results of their breath tests. Now that this news has been made public, some defense attorneys say that more people will question breath testing when they are facing prosecution for DUI.
Nickles told news sources that the faulty breath testing equipment showed results that were 20% higher. There were 10 questionable test machines used by police in the District and all were found to produce erroneous results. All of the machines were under investigation by Nickles's office since last February because a consultant for the city suspected that there was an accuracy problem. Nickles says that all of the breath tests have been replaced with another brand and stricter standards for testing the accuracy of the machines have been put into action.
Investigations revealed that 1,100 prosecutions that took place between September 2008 and February 2010 relied heavily on breath test results.
If you are facing DUI charges and believe your breath test was faulty, now is the time to have your case reviewed by an Orange County DUI attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry today!