Nearly a 1,000 drunk driving defendants could go free in California amid reports of a faulty breathalyzer machine, the Mercury News reported. Massachusetts OUI defense attorneys understand the breath test results are far from a sure thing. Coast to coast, the technology behind the breathalyzer and the training of the officers involved are a continuous source of court challenges. Those facing a drunk driving charge in Boston or elsewhere in Massachusetts should consult an experienced attorney to discuss their options. As we reported previously on our Massachusetts DUI Attorney Blog, botched breath test results in Philly have compromised more than 1,000 cases. Faulty breath test results in D.C. are forcing the district to change the type of machine it uses; and a Florida judge has ruled a breathalyzer manufacturer must release the code used in the machine to defense attorneys who wish to challenge the validity of results. In the California case, the Santa Clara district attorney's office is taking a month to review the cases it will drop as a result of police officers' use of the Alco-Sensor V breathalyzer. The machines were subject to faulty readings because of a manufacturer's error. Officers had begun using the device in November and used it exclusively through the busy holiday season. They stopped this month after discovering that Ventura County authorities were reviewing hundreds of cases for errors. Defense lawyers say cases in which suspects blew into the device but later refused to give a blood test are now suspect — since the state's main piece of evidence may be compromised. Authorities had been using 60 of the defective devices. The devices were portable breathalyzers, the results of which are not typically used in court. However, California law allows the readings to be used if further testing at the station is refused. Santa Clara County arrests more than 7,000 motorists each year for DUI. The Law Offices of Michael DelSignore are conveniently located in Stoughton, Attleboro, New Bedford and Westborough. Call (781) 686-5924 or 508-455-4755 for a free consultation, 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.
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