The District of Columbia will pay $20,000 to resolve cases brought by four plaintiffs who sued over the city's incorrectly calibrated breath test machines. Sixteen other cases are still pending, though, either because the plaintiffs rejected the city's offer or never received one.
City officials announced in 2010 that its breath test machines were incorrectly calibrated, causing blood alcohol readings that were too high by as much as 30 percent. More than 20 people arrested for drunk driving filed suit against the city in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and District of Columbia Superior Court.
Four of the federal court plaintiffs notified U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer yesterday that they had accepted offers of judgment from the city in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $8,000. In making the offer, the city wrote that it would continue to "deny culpability and/or liability." There are six cases still pending in federal court and 10 cases pending in Superior Court; several cases were dismissed because the plaintiffs failed to have their drunk driving convictions overturned or otherwise resolved in their favor.