Breathalyzers Back In D.C. Starting Friday | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Breathalyzers Back In D.C. Starting Friday

Play associated audio
Metropolitan police officers will once again be armed with breathalyzers for testing suspected drunk drivers after hiatus in the program due to faulty equipment. 
Justin McGregor: http://www.flickr.com/photos/skippytpe/3366481352/
Metropolitan police officers will once again be armed with breathalyzers for testing suspected drunk drivers after hiatus in the program due to faulty equipment. 

D.C. will resume its breathalyzer screening program this week after suspending the program nearly two and half years ago because of problems with the machines.

The police department shut down the breathalyzer program in 2010 when it was discovered the blood-alcohol level testing machines weren't calibrated correctly. The discovery called into question hundreds of drunk driving convictions. 

Dozens of convicted motorists challenged their convictions and the city ended up paying $20,000 to several drivers who sued the city. In place of the breathalyzers, police have been using field sobriety and urine tests to go after impaired drivers.

The breathalzyer program is set to resume Friday, with new equipment and new legislation passed last month by the D.C. Council that promises tougher penalties for drunk driving convictions.

The city is "well positioned to combat impaired driving" with the "new statute and the new state of the art equipment," D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan said in a statement.

NPR

From Her Dad To Her 'Jamish' Roots, A Poet Pieces Her Story Together

Salena Godden grew up in 1970s England with a Jamaican mom and an absent English-Irish dad. In her memoir, Springfield Road, she looks back on her struggle to find her personal identity.
NPR

If You've Ever Looked For Faces In Your Potato Chips, Thank Myrtle Young

The Potato Chip Lady or, Myrtle Young, died in August of this year. She was 90. Young became famous after showing her collection of unusually shaped chips to Tonight Show host Johnny Carson in 1987.
NPR

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

An agreement between the Tennessee Hospital Association and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam expands Medicaid without tax dollars, an agreement that could be a blueprint for other states.
NPR

Die-In, Vortex, Selfie Stick: What's The Word Of 2014?

In January, members of the American Dialect Society will vote on the 2014 Word of the Year. Linguist Ben Zimmer runs through some contenders — including words both old and new.

Leave a Comment

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