A Massachusetts judge has ordered that breathalyzer tests be excluded as evidence against drivers charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, pending a review of the tests and the state lab charged with overseeing them.
In a ruling Monday, District Court Judge Robert Brennan found that concerns raised about the accuracy of the tests and their management by the Massachusetts Office of Alcohol Testing (OAT) were significant enough to pause their use in court as evidence, MassLive reports.
The pause on using breathalyzer tests as evidence is only the most recent development in a year’s long challenge of their accuracy. In 2017, ruling on the reliability of tests taken between 2012 and 2014, Brennan found that while the tests were accurate, the way the state maintained them was not.
Later that year, the judge found that after OAT was ordered to provide calibration and certification worksheets for the tests, it had intentionally withheld hundreds that showed failed calibrations. A top OAT official was fired as a result.