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Colorado steps up efforts to get accurate alcohol blood tests

On the first day of this month, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's Forensic Services began toxicology testing for DUI cases involving alcohol or drugs. The testing service will spread to Denver later this year, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

The deputy director of Forensic Services said her department's employees will give courts DUI test results they can rely on. A prosecutor said he and his peers expect to get timely analysis of blood tests from the CBI labs and the testimony from the technicians that they "need" in court.

The newspaper articles reporting on the shift from the Department of Public Health to the CBI indicate to some observers that prosecutors were not entirely happy with test results, timeliness or the court testimony provided by DPH employees.

Will any of those crucial elements improve with the shift to testing done by the CBI? That remains to be seen.

Clearly, with the state and prosecutors putting more emphasis on getting accurate test results, defendants in drunken driving or DUID (driving under the influence -- drugs) cases are being pushed to seek out defense attorneys experienced in scrutinizing test results and the equipment used to arrive at those results. In some situations, breath-testing equipment has not been properly maintained or calibrated, throwing its data into question.

More than once, an experienced defense lawyer has been able to demonstrate to a court that the testing equipment gave inaccurate results. In turn, the courts tossed out the test data and made it virtually impossible for prosecutors to prevail. Charges can often be dropped or reduced in these cases.

An experienced attorney can help you understand and pursue viable legal options in your set of circumstances.

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