A number of Pikes Peak DUI defendants may have grounds to have their cases dismissed, following evidence that there were critical errors made by the state’s toxicology lab.
Colorado Springs DUI attorneys know that this involves blood evidence, which is typically known to carry more weight in these cases the subjective field sobriety tests. What this means is that these individuals may have a decent shot at getting these DUI charges dropped. The key for them will be contacting an experienced lawyer, rather than simply pleading guilty to the charges.
Here’s what we know of the situation, as reported by The Colorado Springs Gazette:
The state’s Department of Public Health and Environment is who most law enforcement agencies rely on to handle the blood samples taken from DUI suspects. This is evidence that is then used to prove that a person was driving over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Last month, the Denver Post reported that a former employee did not follow proper protocol and the lab would have to re-test some 1,700 samples.
So as of now, the lab has taken a closer look at two-thirds of those samples, and has discovered about a dozen in which there were “significant” mistakes. All of those were in the drivers’ favor.
That lab employee has since been fired, but it doesn’t change that all of these test results will be highly scrutinized by DUI defense lawyers, who are already arguing in court that not only was the state sloppy and slow to address the obvious problems, it appears in some instances, there was outright dishonesty.
And we’re not talking minor mistakes – these were situations in which the errors could have resulted in mandatory jail sentences and hundreds of dollars each worth of fines.
In Colorado DUI cases, your penalties can be increased if you have a higher blood alcohol content. In one case, you had an individual who the lab measured as having a blood alcohol content of .206. An independent lab re-tested that same sample, and came up with a .167.
That’s enough to amount to a significant reduction in penalties.