100s of NH DUI cases scrutinized due to inadmissible evidence

NH (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Arrests made by 64 police officers in New Hampshire are being scrutinized because the evidence they collected is inadmissible.

There are at least 100 cases so far, where the officer giving a breathalyzer shouldn't have been used inside court. The reason is because their training certification results say they passed when in fact they didn't, in a drinking and driving case, the breathalyzer result can be the end all.

Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Osborne said, "There are going to be some cases where that breath test is the nail in the coffin."

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All police officers in New Hampshire undergo yearly re-certification training so they are fully up to speed on how to give the test and minimize any mistakes, but a huge computer glitch was discovered and the New Hampshire Attorney General says, "...an officer could have received a passing score and been certified without having completed the full test."

The N.H. Association of Criminal Defense lawyers is working with the AG to make sure the hundred plus cases identified so far know they can ask for a do-over.

"A DWI conviction carries a lot of direct and indirect consequences. There's usually lengthy loss of license, significant fines, counseling costs," he said.

The deputy AG also told FOX25 News that the problem started when the state began using an online program to do the re-certification. The company, RTI, told the state the officers were able to skip parts of the exam but still pass. The AG also told defense attorneys the problem may be even bigger writing in a memo, "...there is a remote possibility that an officer who received a passing score of 12 could have been given credit for a question to which he or she was not entitled, and would have otherwise have not passed."

RTI was not able to determine the impact on that anomaly so those officers cases are not being identigied at this time. So it may be up to all NH defense attorneys to review their cases.

"If I've lost my license for a year or 3 months and someone says that was a computer glitch. I'm going to have problems with that," he said.

The AG told FOX25 Tuesday that they are not using the online program anymore. They are not going back to doing the tests in person which can take longer.