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Blood tests found to be wrong in Colorado DUI cases

There is certain evidence that courts take very seriously when it comes to convicting a defendant of a crime. Scientific evidence carries a lot of weight in all types of cases, from homicide to drunk driving. In DUI cases, blood tests taken to find the supposed blood alcohol concentration levels of suspects play a big part in the consequence of a criminal charge.

That is a scary reality, given that lab technicians make mistakes with the blood tests. In Colorado, about 1,700 blood alcohol tests related to DUI cases are being retested because it was proven that one test was wrong in its results. And the result suggested that a Colorado DUI suspect's BAC level was higher than it actually was.

You can understand how serious that realization regarding the blood test was to defense attorneys. Now, the batch of tests that a particular lab technician did between October 2011 and March 2012 are all being retested. So far, according to a Denver report, 10 tests have been found to be faulty.

The DUI cases connected to the tests are all pending. Fortunately, that means that no suspects have been sentenced as a result of a faulty test. It is crucial that their initial tests be retested in order for the information presented to the court to be accurate. A higher BAC level can mean more a more significant charge and sentencing.

This recent finding highlights the danger of tests used in drunk driving cases. While people often put so much trust in science and numbers, people are still involved with the tests and the numbers. People make mistakes, and those mistakes can have a great negative impact on a suspect's future and freedom.

Source: KMGH Denver, "State Fires Lab Analyst, Retests 1,700 DUI Blood Samples," Lance Hernandez and Thomas Hendrick, April 20, 2012

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