Boston, MA- An investigation of the Massachusetts crime lab found that it withheld evidence in OUI cases that could have been beneficial to a defendant. Now, hundreds, maybe thousands, of OUI convictions in the state are in question and up for review.
Office of Alcohol Testing Withheld Evidence
In a report released last month, the state Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety said the Office of Alcohol testing which is overseen by the Massachusetts State Police “intentionally” withheld evidence from OUI defense attorneys. MassLive.com reported on October 17, 2017, that the crime lab provided prosecutors and defense attorneys with basic information upon discovery requests, but withheld some documents that could have been valuable to defendants. The materials withheld included incidents of breathalyzers failing to calibrate during the certification process and records of how many times a device was sent back to the manufacturer for repairs.
The report said the omission of the documents was an attempt to “minimize disclosure.”
State officials emphasized that the report does not indicate that the results from breathalyzers are invalid or that the machines used were not in proper working order, MassLive.com reports.
While this report doesn’t indicate there are any issues with the breathalyzer machines used currently in Massachusetts, there have been issues with the devices in the past. In 2015, several thousand OUI cases in the state were reviewed because the breathalyzers being used were calibrated out of the margin of error. At the time the state was using the Draeger Alcotest 9510.
In Boston, you can be charged with an OUI, operating under the influence, if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or more. To determine if your BAC is at or over the legal limit to drive, an officer will ask you to undergo a breathalyzer test. The test gives police a measure of a person’s intoxication which is used by the prosecution to prove impairment. The results of breathalyzers are the primary pieces of evidence used to secure DUI convictions, so they must be accurate and regularly maintained.
A first OUI conviction in Massachusetts can result in jail time, costly fines and suspension of your driver’s license. There are other personal and professional implications of a drunk driving conviction, so it is critical for breathalyzers to be accurate and in good working order.
Find an OUI Attorney in Boston
If you have been recently convicted of a DUI and would like to have your case reviewed, you can find an OUI/ DUI lawyer in Massachusetts at USAttorneys.com and arrange a case evaluation. They will review the facts of your case and determine if your OUI conviction is under question.
Our team of OUI attorneys in Boston know the ramifications of an impaired driving convictions and will do whatever they can to minimize the impact of your arrest and help you avoid conviction. Call one of your legal team today.