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October 12, 2009 - DWI Cases Set Aside Over Faked Records

October 12, 2009 - DWI Cases Set Aside Over Faked Records

More than 1,200 drunken driving convictions in Harris County, Texas, must be aside because a worker failed to calibrate breathalyzers, officials said.

"It's just a massive problem that is not going to go away, Assistant District Attorney Teresa Buess told the Houston Chronicle in a story published Saturday.

From 2002 until she was arrested last October, Deetrice Wallace, a state Department of Public Safety contractor, calibrated breathalyzers for eight police departments. She was sentenced Friday to a year in jail for tampering with governmental records after a jury found her guilty of faking her records.

The more than 1,200 driving convictions to be set aside in Harris County will be revisited by prosecutors, but many of the cases lack enough evidence to be prosecuted again, Buess said.

Wallace OK'd an estimated 4,000 breathalyzer test slips measuring blood alcohol content, including many not in Harris County, Buess said, adding she did not know how other counties planned to address the problem.

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