1200 DWI Convictions Set Aside

Texas – Prosecutors say more than 1,200 Harris County driving while intoxicated convictions are invalid after a Texas contractor was convicted and sentenced for faking inspections of alcohol breath testing devices.

Deetrice Wallace, a Department of Public Safety contractor, told investigators that she had falsified inspections records for the two police department intoxilyzers. Wallace was prosecuted for three counts of tampering with a governmental record and on Friday was sentenced to a year in prison.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Terese Buess said about 1,000 defendants convicted of DWI can petition for a retrial without evidence submitted by Wallace. Some defendants had more than one case affected.

Buess said Wallace manipulated the machines instead of changing the reference sample every month, and pocketed $146,000.


Information from: Houston Chronicle,

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.