DUI Cases Being Dismissed for Invalid Breath Tests in MA & NH

Arrested and Charged With a DUI in NH?

In recent news the Massachusetts, Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of a high volume of DUI cases due to invalid breath tests. According to a recent report by WBUR, a Boston-based public radio station, at least 400 DUI cases have been dismissed in the state over the past year because of breathalyzer machines that were found to be improperly calibrated and another 27,000 convictions are at risk of being overturned.

The Supreme Judicial Court unanimously upheld a previous ruling that breathalyzers used by the state were improperly calibrated and maintained from 2011 to 2019, and that some state officials knew about it and covered it up.

This has also been a problem in New Hampshire. The issue with the breathalyzer machines came to light in 2017, when it was discovered that the machines were producing inaccurate results. The state eventually decertified the machines and replaced them with new ones, but not before hundreds of DUI cases had already been affected.

Calibration Issues

One of the major issues with the breathalyzer machines was that they were not properly calibrated. Calibration is necessary to ensure that the machines are accurately measuring the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath. When a machine is not properly calibrated, it can produce false readings that can lead to false DUI arrests and convictions. In order to produce accurate results, these machines must be calibrated regularly and properly maintained.

In Massachusetts & New Hampshire, a breathalyzer test is often a key piece of evidence in a DUI case. If the test is found to be invalid, it can weaken the prosecution’s case and even lead to a dismissal of the charges.

The 400 DUI cases that have been dismissed in Massachusetts due to invalid breath tests represent just a small portion of the total number of DUI cases that have been affected by the faulty machines. It is unclear how many more cases could be impacted by the issue.

The Massachusetts State Police have since implemented new protocols for calibrating the breathalyzer machines to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future. However, damage has already been done for those who were wrongly accused and convicted.

Others also argue that the dismissals are necessary in order to ensure that justice is served. If the breath tests are not conducted properly, then the results cannot be trusted. It is important that law enforcement follows proper procedures and protocols to ensure that accurate results are obtained.

Improperly Administered Breathalyzer Test

Your case may be dismissed if it has been proven that some of the machines were not calibrated correctly, or if the officer administering the test did not follow proper procedures. These discrepancies of the test may be challenged in court. In addition, certain medical conditions or medications can also affect breath test results, making them unreliable.

If the court determines that the breath test results are not admissible as evidence, the prosecution may have a difficult time proving that the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol. In such cases, the DUI charges may be dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.

It is important to note, however, that the dismissal of a DUI case due to invalid breath tests is not automatic. Each case is unique, and the outcome will depend on the specific circumstances and evidence involved. It is recommended to consult with a qualified DUI defense attorney for guidance and representation in such cases.

This issue in New Hampshire highlights the importance of proper calibration and maintenance of breathalyzer machines. It is crucial that law enforcement officials follow these procedures to ensure that accurate results are obtained, and that justice is served.

Hiring a DUI Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI in New Hampshire, it is important to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney. Your attorney can review the evidence against you, including any breathalyzer test results, to determine whether there are any issues that could lead to a dismissal of the charges or a reduction in the penalties. The Attorneys at Cohen & Winters concentrate in DUI & criminal defense law in New Hampshire and are also trained in field sobriety and chemical testing. Call Today for a Free Consultation. 603-224-6999.

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