Cost to prosecute drunken driving cases skyrockets



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More drunken-driving suspects are refusing to take the standard breath test to analyze blood-alcohol content. That is helping fuel an increase in the cost to gather that evidence. (Tom Russo / Daily Reporter)


GREENFIELD — In the hands of a jury, a simple blood test can mean the difference between a drunken-driver who is convicted and one who walks free.

With the popularity of crime dramas causing what public safety officials call “the CSI effect,” jurors today have come to expect law enforcement to provide irrefutable data in cases that go to trial.

But in drunken-driving cases, the same tests prosecutors say have become necessary to successfully convict are also draining an important county budget.

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