Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Temporary Suspension of Breath Tests Results


Individuals charged with OUI/DUI offenses in the Massachusetts area may not have to worry about their breath test results for a while. Attorneys representing drunk-drivers are accusing the Commonwealth of covering up evidence that breath test results used in thousands of DUI cases in Massachusetts were not accurate. The Office of Alcohol Testing, the agency that oversees the accuracy of these tests, filed a motion recently that stated the Office of Alcohol Testing did not turn over documents that would have revealed that the machines had malfunctioned and resulted in inaccurate results numerous times over the span of two years.

The cover up was not a single act but several intentional acts to prevent a public revelation of the inaccuracies in the machines. These alleged improper actions may cause District Attorneys to suspend the use of Breathalyzer tests results until the controversy is solved.


In 2015, concerns developed regarding the accuracy of the Draeger 9510 breath test machines that were utilized across the Commonwealth. Massachusetts introduced the breath test machine in 2011. At the time, many experts said the Draeger 9510 was not designed to accommodate the state's regulations and would not give accurate results.


The state maintains that only a limited number of breath tests performed since 2011 by law enforcement on accused drunk drivers were inaccurate, and that the inaccuracy stemmed from police error. In a review of the machines, the state claims the devices were, in fact, operating properly. However, the lawyers representing the defendants said the state records they obtained about the devices could have been faulty, resulting in mistakes that can influence the outcome of OUI/DUI cases in the state.


If you have been charged with an OUI/DUI in Massachusetts, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the controversy surrounding breath tests in Massachusetts and your legal rights. Your attorney can help you make the right decisions regarding your case with the least negative impact on your life. A first-time OUI/DUI conviction may result in fines between $500 and $5000 dollars and the loss of your driver’s license for a year. In some cases, you could serve jail time. If you are driving with a minor under the age of 14 while impaired or intoxicated with alcohol, you may be charged with child endangerment. If you are convicted of child endangerment, you will lose your license for a year and pay fines between $1,000 and $5,000. Furthermore, you could spend 90 days to two and a half years in prison.  

If you are facing an OUI/DUI conviction or want to know how the temporary suspension of the use of breath test results will affect your pending OUI/DUI case in Massachusetts, consult a criminal defense attorney. An OUI/DUI conviction can have devastating effects on your professional and personal life. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.