Dozens wrongly accused of drunk driving

Dozens wrongly accused of drunk driving
Around 100 Swedes may have been wrongly suspected--and possibly sentenced to prison--for drunk driving due to faulty breathalyzer test machines.

As a result of the problem approximately 100 people subjected to breath tests between December and March gave readings over the legal limit for driving under the influence.

“The matter concerns people just near the limit for drunk driving or serious drunk driving. The National Laboratory of Forensic Science will be working all night to identify them,” said police spokesperson Mattias Andersson.

Andersson couldn’t rule out the possibility that some of those wrongly accused of drunk driving may have been sentenced to prison.

“We can’t rule it out because we don’t know how far legal proceedings may have progressed. It doesn’t seem especially likely, but we’ll look into it [on Wednesday] together with the Prosecution Authority,” he said.

As of Tuesday, it remained unclear exactly how many people may have been wrongly convicted of drunk driving.

Last week, the National Laboratory of Forensic Science (SKL) discovered the malfunction with Evidenzer machines used to administer breathalyzer tests.

The problem arose after the machine’s software was updated by SKL in early December.

“There is supposed to be a scope to ensure that readings can’t be misinterpreted. It was one of these safety margins which didn’t come with the update,” said Andersson.

The machine is found at police stations and is used on people who have already blown a positive reading on another machine.

The police have temporarily halted the use of the Evidenzer machines.

The Prosecution Authority has decided that no decisions to prosecute will be made or sentences issues until the problem has been solved.

The registry of criminals and suspects will be purged so that no innocent people remain on the registry, according to police.