PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An exclusive CBS 3 I-Team investigation now reveals hundreds of drunk driving suspects may have a better chance of beating charges in court because evidence from their Breathalyzer tests will not be used against them.
Philadelphia police say 416 drunk driving suspects arrested from November through February were tested with an improperly calibrated unit.
The District Attorney’s Office has now notified attorneys for the suspects awaiting trial that the scientific evidence will not be part of the prosecution’s case.
The District Attorney’s Office also says those already convicted or who have pled guilty will be allowed to seek new trials.
The improperly calibrated machine is one of seven used by the Philadelphia Police Department. Without scientific evidence, police will have to rely on non-scientific data gathered at the scene.
Attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr., who has already received letters about two of his clients’ cases, says the problem is, in his words, a “gift” to the suspects. Peruto predicts that out of 416 suspects, virtually all will beat the charges against them.
So far, there is no official comment from the Police Department on why the Breathalyzer was not properly calibrated and why it took three months for the problem to be identified.
Reported by Walt Hunter, CBS 3