New Boston Globe Article details important updated information regarding Draeger Breathalyer case
“This is not an abstract legal issue; this is something that deeply affects many good citizens of the Commonwealth.” – Attorney Irvin Rakhlin, quoted in the Boston Globe regarding the ongoing fight to exclude faulty breathalyzer evidence in drunk driving cases.
Attorney Rakhlin and his colleagues and have been hard at work. They have been trying protect the rights of the citizens of Massachusetts by challenging the reliability of the state’s Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath test. The five attorneys working on this case, who represent over 750 defendants who were charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, recently discovered that the state’s Office of Alcohol Testing intentionally withheld vital documents regarding how breathalyzer tests have been calibrated.
The attorneys conducted discovery hearings to learn more about the breathalyzer machines, and in doing so received close to 2,000 worksheets completed by state chemists. These worksheets showed that the machines gave accurate readings. However, the attorneys later learned of 400 additional tests that had no accompanying worksheets. When the worksheets were eventually handed over (after a court order to do so), it was discovered that almost every document that was initially withheld showed that the breath test failed to calibrate appropriately. This could affect more than 58,000 drunk driving cases, known as operating under the influence of alcohol in MA courts.
What happens next?
Due to this astounding news, the State has suspended all breathalyzer testing and will not introduce any breathalyzer results in any upcoming trials until further notice. The state’s Secretary of Public Safety and Security, Daniel Bennett, has launched an investigation into the office responsible for ensuring the accuracy of police breathalyzers, amid accusations that the office withheld evidence that the machines may have provided hundreds of flawed results over multiple years period. The main question that needs to be answered is whether or not the withholding of this essential information was calculated and intentional, and what will happen to the multitude of defendants who either went to trial or pleaded guilty due to this faulty evidence.
What Can I Do if I Believe My Case Was Affected By Faulty Breathalyzer Results?
If you were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Massachusetts from 2011-2015 it may be that the breathalyzer result in your case has already been deemed “presumptively unreliable” by the Court in Commonwealth v. Ananias, et al, the case which Attorney Rakhlin helped litigate that resulted in thousands of breathalyzer results thrown out from evidence at trial. However, even if your arrest is more recent, there is still a strong possibility that the controversy over the way in which the Office of Alcohol Testing (OAT) in MA handled the discovery relative to the machines, and calibrated the machines, could be a influential in your case. It is important that you contact an attorney well versed in the litigation over the breathalyzer machines in order to gain all possible benefits in your case. Call Rakhlin Law at 617-564-0466 for a free consultation to see how this cutting edge issue could be used to secure a positive result in your pending OUI case.
Read the entire Boston Globe article on the matter here: