Errors in CO Blood Alcohol Testing May Call DUI Convictions into Question

Errors in the blood tests used by the state toxicology lab to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) may call some convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) into question, according to a recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

news_sign_4122137.jpgIn May 2012, the state toxicology lab announced that it had undertaken the re-testing of 1,700 samples taken in DUI cases after discovering that a lab technician in charge of testing the samples had not followed proper protocols. The lab also instituted procedures that allow for random re-testing by a separate toxicologist in order to double-check that technicians are following protocols properly.

Colorado law prohibits driving a vehicle if the driver’s BAC is 0.08 percent or higher. At 0.17 percent, a convicted driver is considered a “high BAC offender” and may be required to have an ignition interlock device placed on his or her vehicle at his or her expense. At 0.20 percent BAC or higher, a driver may be required to spend 10 or more days in jail.

So far, according to the Gazette, the lab has re-tested 1,300 of the 1,700 samples and found 11 errors, all of which were in favor of the defendant who faced Colorado DUI charges. Some of the errors found had raised the BAC over the 0.17 or 0.20 limits, forcing the defendants to face increased penalties.

Drunk driving cases often turn on BAC evidence, whether from blood or breath testing. If you’re facing a DUI charge in Colorado, don’t hesitate to call a dedicated DUI blood test defense lawyer at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. Call us today at (719) 475-2555 for a free, confidential consultation.

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