D.C.

D.C. won't have reliable breath-test program until March

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WASHINGTON (AP) - City officials say Washington likely will not have a reliable alcohol breath-testing program until March.

That revelation came Wednesday during testimony before at a D.C. Council committee, more than a year after flawed equipment called into question hundreds of convictions.

City lawmakers have been pushing for a better and more reliable system since defense lawyers were notified in February 2010 that nearly 400 drunken driving convictions over the previous year and a half had relied, at least partly, on inaccurately calibrated blood-alcohol tests.

Deputy Attorney General Robert Hildum testified that the new timeline might be disappointing, but acknowledged that the system needs an overhaul.

At-large Councilman Phil Mendleson blasted the agencies involved saying: "Basically, we wasted a year getting to this point."

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