Over 10,000 Criminal Cases Handled in the Denver Area

Intoxilyzer 9000 forgery scandal details unfolding, Part 2

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2017 | Blood Alcohol Tests |

Stories like the below recur with some sense of regularity across the United States. When they do, they understandably garner a lot of ink and adverse press, and rightfully so, given that there are immediately adverse outcomes spelled for individuals who are victimized by the details they reveal.

We spotlighted the certainty of many Colorado officials “uncomfortably squirming” in our March 20 blog entry. As we noted therein, their discomfort centrally relates to signature forgeries.

Laura Gillim-Ross can speak to the matter of signatures. As ex-lab director of the state’s health department, her signature was prominently affixed to many documents certifying the accuracy and validity of the Intoxilyzer 9000 breath-testing machines that state troopers and police officers use in DUI stops.

There was just one little problem linked with her attestations: They were forged by other parties, and even after she quit her position.

Mike Barnhill can readily identify with how Gillim-Ross likely felt upon learning that her signature had been commandeered. Barnhill, a former Intoxilyzer tester, had his name fraudulently affixed to scores of breathalyzers falsely deemed as fully tested and vetted for use.

That’s a real problem, to be sure. Barnhill said he formally objected through official channels when he learned of the fraud, but was overruled.

The result: Many Intoxilyzer 9000s that were falsely validated were subsequently used to convict motorists in drunk driving cases.

That is of course troubling on many fronts, and critics are demanding a wider investigator and revisiting of past cases that yielded adverse outcomes.

There can be many things raising question marks in a DUI-related stop. Those range from an officer’s probable cause for detaining a driver in the first place and subjectivity employed in field sobriety testing to mistakes of fact and law and, as noted here, questioning surrounding the accuracy and validation of testing machines.

Individuals with questions or concerns regarding any aspect of a DUI arrest or criminal charge might reasonably want to contact an experienced defense attorney without delay.