EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF PUBLIC SAFETEY AND SECURITY INVESTIGATION FINDS OFFICE OF ALCOHOL TESTING MADE SERIOUS ERRORS OF JUDGMENT

On August 31, 2017, Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel J. Bennett directed that the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) legal staff conduct an investigation into the circumstances under which the Commonwealth had failed to provide
certain documents maintained by the State Police Crime Laboratory’s Office of Alcohol Testing (OAT) to defense counsel in the case of Commonwealth v. Ananias et al., consolidated litigation addressing a variety of challenges to the scientific validity of the Commonwealth’s breath testing program, and particularly the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath testing instrument.

The report concluded that OAT leadership made serious errors of judgment in its responses to court-ordered discovery;  OAT has had a longstanding and insular institutional culture that was reflexively guarded, which frequently failed to seek out or take advantage of available legal resources, and which was inattentive to the legal obligations of the prosecution; OAT failed to turn over exculpatory information that prosecutors were obligated to provide to the defense as a result of discovery orders issued by Judges Brennan and McManus including:

1.) hundreds of “incomplete” certification worksheets, documentary evidence that breath testing instruments had failed to properly calibrate during OAT’s certification process;

2.) OAT generated records that reflected when breath test instruments were sent to their manufacturer for repair;

3.) internal testing records that would appear to fall squarely into the category of documents that had been ordered to be produced in pending criminal prosecutions.

In most counties, the breath test is not being introduced at OUI trials due to the continuing challenges to the breath test machine after the failure of OAT to provide discovery.

If you have been charged with OUI, call an experienced lawyer at 508-944-3397.

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