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D.C. Settles Lawsuit Alleging Faulty Breathalyzers

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The District of Columbia has agreed to pay about $20,000 to several people who challenged their drunken driving convictions based on flaws in the police department's alcohol breath-test equipment.

The payments were revealed in documents filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Washington, according to the Associated Press.

The four were part of a group that said their convictions were based on unreliable and inaccurate breath testing equipment. They alleged that the police department had failed to properly calibrate the devices, and that prosecutors continued to rely on the numbers even after knowing that the machines were flawed. 

Jeffrey Rhodes, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the Associated Press the D.C. government should more forcefully admit the errors involved in its testing process. Ted Gest, a spokesman for the Office of Attorney General, said the office  is not admitting any wrongdoing.

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