Shumlin Wants Alcohol Testing Transferred To Public Safety

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(Host) The Shumlin administration is addressing a controversy over state procedures used to detect drunk drivers.

Equipment used to test the amount of alcohol in the blood of a driver is now maintained and calibrated by the Health Department.

But a department whistleblower has alleged that Health Department staff improperly manipulated the equipment to pass performance tests. Defense lawyers have used the allegations to challenge DUI results in court.

Now Shumlin and legislative leaders want to transfer alcohol testing to the Department of Public Safety, which oversees the state police.

(Shumlin) "The Department of Public Safety has undertaken forensic testing for decades. That in my judgment is the best place to ensure that we have the best testing in America."

(Host) Health Commissioner Harry Chen said he supports the change. The transfer would be authorized in a drunk driving bill now pending in the Senate.

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