Breath Alcohol Tests Return Sept. 28
Field sobriety tests, breath tests and urine testing are all tools available to D.C. law enforcement officials once again.
The D.C. Breath Alcohol Testing Program will resume Friday. The use of breath-alcohol testing devices had been suspended because of accuracy issues that may have produced erroneous results.
In the press release Tuesday, Mayor Vincent Gray thanked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a $150,000 grant that helped resume the program.
The new equipment and policies for using it were developed through cooperation among the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).
Trained MPD officers will administer the tests, though field sobriety tests will also still be used and each police station is equipped with a urine testing kit.
"OCME will provide oversight of the proper use, maintenance and certification of the evidentiary equipment," according to a press release from the Mayor's office.
Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan said in a prepared statement, “We are happy that MPD and OCME have worked so hard with us to restore their breath testing program. It is an important tool in our joint efforts to combat impaired driving and maintain public safety in the District. With the new statute and the new, state-of-the-art equipment, we are now well positioned to combat impaired driving.”
Nathan was referring to the Comprehensive Impaired Driving Act of 2012, which increases maximum incarceration periods and fines, among other changes.