Thursday, June 5, 2014

Are DUI Breath Tests in Colorado Accurate?

It was recently reported by 9News in Denver that an Intoxilzer 9000 machine, used to measure breath alcohol in DUI cases in Colorado, in Weld County has been found to have been improperly calibrated and has been removed for service.  Cases involving this particular machine are being reviewed and may possibly have to be re-opened.

However, a larger problem continues to persist in Colorado pertaining to the 9000 machine.  There exists absolutely no evidence on record that the Intoxilizer 9000 machines that have been in use in Colorado for over a year were ever properly evaluated and certified under the specific standards set forth under Colorado law for such measuring devices.  Legal attempts to compel an accounting of the 9000 certification process, if one was ever used, have been stonewalled by the state; therefore, at this time, it cannot be ascertained whether the 9000 machines are legally qualified to provide admissible evidence against persons accused of DUI/DWAI in Colorado.

It is important to point out that the predecessor to the Intoxilizer 9000, the model 8000, has been disallowed for use in both Pennsylvania and Ohio, where the courts found the machines to be insufficiently scientifically accurate and reliable for results to be admissible in court.  The 9000 model has even less testing/vetting than the 8000 and Colorado is the only state that is using that model.

Current DUI cases involving the 9000 are being challenged by attorneys raising the certification issue surrounding the 9000, but no state-wide decisions/precedents currently address the situation.

In a constitutional republic, it is important that accused receive a fair trial, including due process of law.  This includes ensuring that scientific evidence admitted is grounded in sound, established scientific principles and the methods/procedures used are accurate and reliable.  This standard is NOT being observed in Colorado with respect to the Intoxilizer 9000.  Colorado citizens concerned about justice, fairness and due process should contact their legislators and the governor and insist on a PUBLIC investigation into the certification, or lack thereof, of the Intoxilizer 9000 and that its use be suspended until it can be ascertained that these machines are accurate and reliable according to established standards.

The 9News Weld County story may be found at

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