Years of San Francisco DUI Cases Under Review

By: Brian Shields - Mon, 05 Mar 2012 23:33:00 -0800

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- The San Francisco District Attorney's office is reviewing every case of DUI involving the use of a handheld breath analyzer that may not have been calibrated properly.

The D.A. launched the review after lawyers working for San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi examined documents that appeared to show police weren't using proper procedures to test to make sure the machines were returning accurate results.

Maintenance records reportedly showed identical results in sample tests as in real samples collected from suspected drunk drivers.

"It's a mathematical impossibility to consistently have the same results for sample testing and the actual reading," Adachi said in a written statement.

KRON 4's Terisa Estacio reports the S.F.P.D has used the devices, called Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) since the mid-90's.

"We are in the process of identifying cases that could be affected," D.A. George Gascon said, also in a written statement.  "Until the review is done we don't know the number of cases that could be affected."

Former clients of the public defenders office who were convicted of DUI in cases where police used the PAS devices should call 415-553-1081.  If you had a private lawyer, contact that person, Adachi says.

Gascon says prosecutors will not use the test results in current DUI cases pending before the courts.  For people who already have convictions he says, "we will carefully review closed cases to determine if further action is needed."  He says police chief Greg Suhr is working to make sure the correct procedures are used from now on.

Click the link above for more information on the PAS testing and the standards that should have been in use.

(Copyright 2012, KRON 4, All rights reserved.) 
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