Mounting problems at the Executive Office of Alcohol Testing (“OAT”), the Massachusetts State Police crime lab responsible for the use of the Dräger Alcotest 9510 breath test machines, have triggered the firing of Melissa O’Meara, head of the OAT.
A report disclosed Monday found that “OAT leadership made serious errors of judgment in its responses to court-ordered discovery, errors which were enabled by a longstanding and insular institutional culture that was reflexively guarded . . . and which was inattentive to the legal obligations borne by those whose work facilitates criminal prosecutions.”
That report is part of an ongoing investigation into what appears to be the OAT’s intentional withholding of evidence that many breath test machines failed during calibration procedures, possibly affecting thousands of alleged drunk driving cases since 2011.
A hearing regarding the status of the investigation and the possible implications of the withheld evidence is scheduled for November 15.