On February 1, 2021, Judge Robert A. Brennan granted a joint Motion to Disseminate” filed by the Commonwealth and the Defense in the case of Commonwealth v. Ananias. In 2017, Judge Brennan had issued a ruling in Ananias that temporarily suspended the admissibility of all breath tests using the Draeger Alcotest 9510 machine administered between June 2011 and April 18, 2019. Judge Brennan held that there was a presumptive unreliability of these specific breath tests and held them inadmissible until the Commonwealth met certain conditions (which were met in 2019). In the latest Order, the Court granted a request to send notices informing thousands of Defendants in OUI cases that they may have a right to challenge their convictions as a result of the 2017 ruling excluding these breath tests.
The notice to be sent out inform Defendants in these OUI convictions that as a result of the Ananias decision, all breath tests administered in Massachusetts between June 2011 and April 18, 2019 were excluded from use in criminal prosecutions. The notice will state “This may provide an opportunity for you to challenge the disposition in your case.” These notices will be sent out to approximately 27,000 criminal defendants.
OUI convictions have far-reaching consequences. They can prevent people from obtaining employment or result in suspended driver’s licenses or higher auto insurance. In addition, a conviction can result in increased penalties if you have a subsequent OUI case.
If you had an OUI case between June 2011 and April 17, 2019 that involved a breath test in Massachusetts, please contact Berid & Schutzbank, LLC to discuss whether or not you should consider moving to vacate your conviction.