D.C. to Pay 4 Motorists in Breathalyzer Lawsuit

Group alleges devices not properly calibrated

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The District has agreed to pay about $20,000 to four 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 Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington.

    The four were part of a group that said their convictions were based on unreliable and inaccurate breath testing equipment. They alleged the devices were not properly calibrated, and that prosecutors continued to rely on the scores even after knowing that the machines were flawed.

    Jeffrey Rhodes, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, says 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 that the office was not acknowledging any liability.