In the case of Commonwealth v. Hallinan, the highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that anyone who took a breath test on the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breathalyzer and pled guilty or admitted to sufficient facts to DUI from June 1, 2011, through April 18, 2019 is entitled to withdraw his or her guilty plea or admission to sufficient facts and file a motion for a new DUI trial.
Anyone who was arrested for DUI between June 1, 2011, through April 18, 2019 and convicted of DUI after a trial where Draeger Alcotest 9510 breathalyzer readings were introduced can request a new DUI trial.
This ruling applies to approximately 27,000 cases. It means that if you were arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol between June 1, 2011, through April 18, 2019 and you took a breath test, you can have your guilty plea, admission to sufficient facts, or OUI conviction vacated and reversed.
Once your plea, admission, or DUI conviction is reversed, you can appeal any resulting license suspension and/or ignition interlock requirement that resulted from the vacated plea or reversed DUI conviction.
In any subsequent prosecution, the Commonwealth cannot use the breathalyzer results against you. The prosecution could still potentially make its case by introducing evidence regarding field sobriety tests, the police officer’s observations, and statements you made. However, breath test evidence, which is often the most damaging evidence, cannot be admitted. The prosecution bears the burden to prove that you operated a motor vehicle on a public way or right of access while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and it must prove this beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you are re-tried and convicted or enter a new guilty plea or admission to sufficient facts, so long as your original sentence was legal, any new sentence cannot exceed the original sentence.
This ruling basically gives anyone who was arrested for DUI and took a breathalyzer test between June 1, 2011, through April 18, 2019 the chance for a “do-over” without the breath test evidence being introduced.