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D.C. Alcohol Breath-Testing Program May Resume

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Credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

Credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill under consideration in the District of Columbia would allow police to resume breath-testing on suspected drunken drivers.

The emergency legislation, which comes before the D.C. Council on Tuesday, would lower the legal blood-alcohol rate for drivers of commercial vehicles from .08 to .04 and also tighten penalties for any driver convicted of driving under the influence.

D.C. authorities put their breath-testing program on hold after realizing that inaccurately calibrated testing equipment had called into question hundreds of convictions.

Officials say they’ve used other methods to prosecute drivers who have had too much to drink, but establishing a suspect’s blood alcohol level is essential for supporting a charge of driving while intoxicated.

Testing could resume as soon as next month under the bill.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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