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Judge clears way for use of breath test evidence

August 1, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — A judge has ruled that law enforcement in Massachusetts can resume using breath test evidence in drunken driving prosecutions.

The Boston Globe reports that the ruling by Judge Robert Brennan this week stems from yearslong litigation by defense attorneys that hundreds of breath test machines used by police across the state were calibrated improperly and therefore unreliable as evidence.

Brennan previously said the breath tests could not be used until the state’s Office of Alcohol Testing was nationally accredited.

He said in his latest ruling that the office has been sufficiently overhauled and has earned national accreditation.

He also ordered the state to notify thousands of drivers that their convictions could be overturned because of unreliable machinery. One attorney said that could affect as any as 30,000 drivers.

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