The Washington, DC government is paying $20,000 to four individuals challenging their DUI convictions based on the DC Metropolitan Police Department’s poor upkeep of breathalyzer equipment. DC’s failure to properly maintain and calibrate their breathalyzers over a number of years means that cases brought based on the evidence obtained by that equipment are suspect.
Already sixteen similar claims have been brought against the city. Settlement offers are out to six individuals and ten claims are pending in DC Superior Court. The District government admitted in 2010 that the improperly calibrated equipment would overstate an individuals blood alcohol level by as much as 20%. Approximately 400 convictions dating back to 2008 may ultimately be effected.