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Are NYPD’s Breathalyzers faulty? Lawyer seeks machine maintenance records

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Are NYPD’s Breathalyzers faulty? Lawyer seeks machine maintenance records

Feb 6, 2013, 12:30 pm CDT

A criminal defense attorney has filed a Freedom of Information Act suit against the New York police department in an effort to get maintenance records for its 28 Breathalyzer machines for the past five years.

Adam Perlmutter says in his Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit that he has proof at least one of the machines was known to be faulty and used without being repaired and wants the records to determine whether the practice of failing to maintain Breathalyzers properly is widespread, reports the New York Daily News.

“Other states put this information online. We thought, ‘Why can’t we have that in New York?” Perlmutter told the newspaper.

The police department rejected his FOIA request for the information, initially claiming that providing the maintenance records would “interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings.”

Then, when Perlmutter pointed out that the records aren't specific to any case, the NYPD contended that providing them would “interfere with the ordinary course of court-supervised discovery,” thus interfering with individuals' fair-trial rights.

The New York Post also has a story.

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