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Update on Colorado’s revamped BAC testing regime

We recently informed readers of our criminal defense blogs at Shazam Kianpour & Associates in Denver that we would keep them timely updated on a key Colorado change in DUI-linked blood-alcohol testing.

As we noted in our August 5 blog entry, that adjustment was material, being “replete with questions and challenges that reasonably suggest future modifications to its operations.”

Those modifications haven’t occurred yet, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation Director John Camper says that there hasn’t yet been an urgent need to implement them.

Our above-cited blog post chronicled state regulators’ flinging open of the bureau’s BAC testing facilities to police agencies statewide this past July, offering blood draw analysis typically costing departments hundreds of dollars for free.

The result of that was immediate and seemingly troublesome, with the CBI being promptly swamped with requests from cash-challenged police units. Fears surfaced concerning the slowness of testing. Concerns were raised regarding a resulting undermining of motorists’ due process rights to a speedy trial.

Camper acknowledges all the concerns, but says that things are essentially “going OK” thus far at the CBI’s facilities, notwithstanding a frenetic pace of activity.

Camper’s preliminary thumbs-up take on the testing is undoubtedly sincere. It is also open to questioning, though. Bureau testers are reportedly being challenged to a breaking point to keep cases moving with due dispatch.

And Camper concedes that.

“I don’t know that we will be able to sustain that at that level,” he recently told reporters at the Colorado Sun.

Time will tell, of course. We will duly report on the longer-term results.

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