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Draeger Memorandum of Decision

Posted by Joseph Bernard | Feb 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

COMMONWEALTH

v.

EVANDO ANANIAS, CHRISTIAN FIGUEROA, AND OTHERS

Attorney Joseph D. Bernard one of the lead attorneys in the two and a half week hearing, that identified and exposed the unreliability of Massachusetts breathalyzer.

 The Court heard testimony over ten days. Although there are 535 cases formally consolidated, it is estimated that an additional two to three thousand cases are stayed pending the outcome of this litigation.

OAT Methodology and Procedures

       The Massachusetts State Police Office of Alcohol Testing (OAT) is a calibration laboratory. Among its functions are the configuration, deployment, annual calibration, and maintenance of all Alcotest 9510 breathalyzer devices currently in use throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. OAT oversees the certification and training of the Massachusetts breath alcohol testing program. It does not perform any repairs or maintenance on the internal operations of the Alcotest 9510. Melissa O'Meara, the Technical Leader of OAT, is responsible for the day to day operation of the laboratory, as well as for establishing policies and procedures for breath test administration and training. She supervises the scientific process and the scientists who are tasked with ensuring that all Alcotest 9510 breathalyzers used by Massachusetts law enforcement agencies are functioning properly and set within parameters as required by Massachusetts regulations. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, with a minor in Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. She has been a scientist in the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory for over twenty-four years, serving in a variety of capacities before becoming the supervising scientist at OAT in June of 2011 and its Technical Director in December of 2013. Ms. O'Meara currently works with three other scientists at OAT.

       The Commonwealth has not shown that the OAT had a scientifically reliable methodology for calibrating the Alcotest 9510 prior to the promulgation of the Certificate of Calibration Procedures for the Alcotest 9510 on September 14, 2014. the annual certification methodology employed by OAT from June, 2012 to September 14, 2014, based upon the evidence presented, did not produce scientifically reliable BAC results; however, the Commonwealth may demonstrate to the trial judge, on a case-by-case basis, that a particular Alcotest 9510 was calibrated and certified using scientifically reliable methodology, and thus that a particular BAC result is scientifically reliable.

       The court ALLOWS the motion as to any results produced by a device calibrated and certified between June of 2012 and September 14, 2014, subject to the possibility of a case-by-case demonstration of the reliability of OAT's calibration of a particular device to a trial judge in the court in which the Commonwealth seeks to offer the result as evidence.

      To read the full decision, click the link: 

About the Author

Joseph Bernard

Joseph Bernard has practiced in Hampden County, Springfield Massachusetts for over 20 years and reside in Belchertown, Massachusetts.

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