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D.C. Police To Resume Blood Alcohol Testing Program

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WASHINGTON (AP) — D.C. police will resume blood-alcohol tests for suspected drunken drivers later this week, two years after the program was suspended because of testing equipment flaws.

The new program takes effect on Friday. A trained police operator will measure blood alcohol content as police process an arrest, and police will also conduct field sobriety tests at the scene.

The program was suspended in 2010 after inaccurately calibrated equipment called into question hundreds of drunken driving convictions. Police relied on urine tests in the absence of blood alcohol tests.

Mayor Vincent Gray says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided a $150,000 grant to allow the program to continue.

The testing comes as D.C. officials rely on a new law that provides tougher penalties for drunken drivers.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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