Drunken Driving Convictions Based on False Tests
Nearly 400 drunken driving convictions in DC were based on flawed test results, as the machines to check a person’s alcohol level were improperly adjusted by city police.
Half of those convicted, since the fall of 2008, received jail time, according to the Washington Post. The jailed defendants normally served at least five days, DC Attorney General Peter Nickles said, in a Washington Post article.
Nickles’ office has been notifying the convicted drivers, which has led to at least one lawsuit against the District, the Post article said.
During the time of the drunken driving convictions, all 10 of the breath tests used by DC police were incorrect and would show a driver’s blood-alcohol content to be around 20 percent higher than it actually was, according to the Washington Post. An officer improperly setting the baseline alcohol concentration levels in the machines caused the problem.
The breath equipment has since been replaced by another brand and the District has begun to implement stricter standards for testing the accuracy of machines, according to the Washington Post.
The inaccurate results emerged after 1,100 prosecutions that relied heavily on breath test results were reviewed, the Post article said.