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D.C. Official: Breathalyzer Program Still Months Away

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Right now police are unable to use breathalyzers on suspected drunk drivers, and local lawmakers are growing frustrated by the delay.

But Deputy Attorney General Robert Hildum says rushing to get the program back up and running could result in more mistakes for the beleaguered program.

Despite calls from Council Member Phil Mendelson, Hildum refused to set any deadlines at a council hearing on the city's ongoing breathalyzer woes.

"As simplistic as it sounds that somebody blows into an instrument and it gives you a reading of their blood alcohol level, there is a lot more to it," Hildum says.

Because of the faulty machines, around 400 drunk driving convictions have been called into question. So far, 50 of these cases have been dismissed.

Hildum says right now prosecutors are relying on urine testing, eye-witness accounts and field sobriety tests to convict drunk drivers.


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