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IRE Radio Podcast | Broken Breath Tests

Police rely on alcohol breath tests to convict drunken drivers. But what happens when the machines they use aren’t reliable? Stacy Cowley of The New York Times looked into the problem of faulty breath test machines and found thousands of cases where the tests were thrown out. On this episode, Stacy breaks down how she discovered unreliable breath tests and the consequences they pose for real people.

You can find the podcast on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Google Play. If you have a story you think we should feature on the show, drop us a note at We’d love to hear from you.


Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week's podcast? We've collected them for you.



Calisson  (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Grey Grey Joe (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Fifteen Street (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Arizona Moon (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Two in the Back (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0



Kelly Kenoyer reported this episode. IRE Editorial Director Sarah Hutchins edits the podcast. We are recorded in the studios of KBIA at the University of Missouri.

109 Lee Hills Hall, Missouri School of Journalism   |   221 S. Eighth St., Columbia, MO 65201   |   573-882-2042   |   |   Privacy Policy
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