Prosecutors, Police Differ On Breath Test Results

Monday, May 18, 2015
Burlington — Some Vermont law enforcement officials are at odds with prosecutors over publicly releasing the blood alcohol content of people arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

David Cahill, executive director of the Vermont State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs, recently wrote to public safety commissioner Keith Flynn on behalf of 14 elected state’s attorneys and their appointed deputy prosecutors.

The letter urged state police to stop releasing alcohol test results because prosecutors believe making the information available before court appearances could cause unfair prejudice against defendants.

Flynn told the Burlington Free Press that he disagrees, and that the information must be public.

He said he doesn’t want the violent protests that have erupted in other places in response to police action to happen in Vermont.

“We can’t get into a position like Baltimore and Ferguson where the police are being questioned about transparency,” he said. “We have nothing to hide.”

Rob Ide, commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles said state law requires his department to release test results promptly at the time of arrests.

For several years, state police and most other law enforcement agencies released breath test results when making drunken driving arrest.

State police stopped the practice for about 15 months but resumed last October after a legal review by Flynn’s department.

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