New Statistics Show Flawed Breathalyzer Cases | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

New Statistics Show Flawed Breathalyzer Cases

Play associated audio

By Kavitha Cardoza

Almost 400 people have been convicted of driving while intoxicated in the District since 2008, with half of them spending time in jail. But many of those convictions were based on inaccurate results from breath test machines.

D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles says city police improperly set the baseline alcohol concentration levels. That meant the machines would show a driver's blood-alcohol content to be about 20 percent higher than it was.

The flawed cases were revealed in a review of 1,100 prosecutions between September 2008 and February 2010, and as the Washington Post reports, those prosecutions relied heavily on breath test results.

Nickles says jailed defendants generally served at least five days. His office has begun notifying drivers.

The city has replaced its machines and is developing stricter standards for testing their accuracy.

NPR

'Welcome To Braggsville' Isn't Quite 'Invisible Man,' But It's Close

T. Geronimo Johnson's latest follows four Berkeley students who take an American history class that leads to disaster. It's an ambitious book about race that wants to say something big about America.
NPR

Why Shark Finning Bans Aren't Keeping Sharks Off The Plate (Yet)

Fewer shark fins are being imported into Hong Kong, the epicenter of shark-fin soup, a culinary delicacy. But while the trade in shark fins may be down, the trade in shark meat is still going strong.
WAMU 88.5

Mixed Grades For Virginia's Ethics Overhual

The last-minute compromise was designed to pass in the General Assembly, but it wasn't built to please everybody.

WAMU 88.5

Transportation App Bridj Has Bus-Sized Ambitions For D.C.

It works similar to other ride-sharing apps, in that you establish a location and destination, and order a ride. But you'll be shown where to catch a Bridj bus, instead of getting a vehicle at your door.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.