Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–2206.52. Admissibility of chemical test results.

(a) Evidence from breath tests shall not be admitted in a criminal proceeding unless compliance with the following criteria has been shown:

(1) The breath test instrument on which the breath test was conducted was operated by either a certified breath test operator or certified technician;

(2) A certified breath test operator or certified technician observed the administration of the breath test and determined that no contamination by mouth alcohol occurred;

(3) A reference standard was analyzed in conjunction with the subject analyses, and the analytical results of the reference standard agreed with the predicted value within the acceptable range set by regulation pursuant to § 5-1501.07;

(4) Duplicate breath specimens were collected from the person and the analytical results of the paired breath specimens were within the acceptable range set by regulation pursuant to § 5-1501.07;

(5) The breath test instrument analytically demonstrates the absence of ethanol before the testing of each breath specimen;

(6) Analytical results are expressed in grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath (g/210L); and

(7) The instrument on which the breath test was conducted had been tested within 180 days before the breath test and had been found to be accurate.

(b)(1) Records of maintenance, set by regulation pursuant to § 5-1501.07, shall be admissible in any proceeding as evidence of the operating condition of the breath test instrument at the time of the person’s breath test.

(2) Records of maintenance demonstrating that the instrument was in proper operating condition at the time of the person’s test shall be prima facie evidence that the instrument was functioning properly.

(c) The inability of any person to obtain either the manufacturer’s schematics or software for a quantitative breath testing device shall not affect the admissibility of the results of a breath test pursuant to this section.


(Sept. 14, 1982, D.C. Law 4-145, § 3q; as added Apr. 27, 2013, D.C. Law 19-266, § 103(e)(3), 59 DCR 12957; Apr. 20, 2013, D.C. Law 19-260, § 4(a), 60 DCR 1292.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-2206.52a and § 50-2206.52b.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-260 rewrote this section.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-266 added this section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 103(e)(3) of the Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Testing Program Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-3, January 29, 2013, 60 DCR 2762, 20 DCSTAT 410).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 103(e)(3) of the Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Testing Program Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-51, April 17, 2013, 60 DCR 6344, 20 DCSTAT 1360).

Editor's Notes

Section 5 of D.C. Law 19-260 provided that the act shall apply as of the effective date of the Comprehensive Impaired Driving and Alcohol Breath Testing Program Amendment Act of 2012, signed by the Mayor on October 24, 2012 (D.C. Act 19-489; 59 DCR 12957), which became D.C. Law 19-266, effective April 27, 2013.