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Tens of thousands of drunken-driving cases could be thrown out across the state because officials withheld damning information about its flawed breath tests, according to defense attorneys who are asking a judge to “impose significant sanctions against the commonwealth.”

“This is a really big deal,” said Joe Bernard, the attorney who made the allegations in a motion filed in Concord District Court on Saturday. “The fact that this information was not revealed to thousands of citizens is mind-blowing.”

Bernard is part of a team of attorneys challenging the reliability of the state’s Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath test. He argues that the state’s Office of Alcohol Testing intentionally withheld vital documents regarding how the tests were calibrated.

He said he compared documents provided through a court order with others he obtained via a public records request. More than 400 checklists used to determine the reliability of the tests were withheld, Bernard said. Nearly every document that was withheld showed that the breath test failed to calibrate appropriately, he added.

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