DUI Breath Testing Program Under Fire

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Officials say dozens of drunken-driving convictions may be jeopardized by a series of problems in processing breath samples, including a mistake in the software for a machine and complaints about unethical lab work.

At issue are breath tests performed by a DataMaster DMT machine that wasn’t set up properly at a State Police barracks. Not only are convictions at risk but a handful of driver’s license suspensions are being overturned.

Meanwhile, there’s a larger challenge of the machines’ reliability that threatens hundreds of cases dating back to 2008.

The state Department of Health says the machines didn’t give erroneous readings. At issue is human error that resulted in one machine operating for almost a year without a self-check function that assures it’s working properly.

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