Thursday, February 16, 2017

Questions Abound Regarding Certification of Intoxilizer-9000

As previously reported on this information page, there are serious unanswered questions regarding the validity of the certification process of the Intoxilizer-9000 (AKA I-9000) machine that has been used to measure breath alcohol content in DUI/DWAI cases in Colorado since 2013.  Legal issues surrounding those questions are now being litigated in Colorado courtrooms.  See, e.g.

Prior to 2013, when the I-9000 was put into service statewide, Colorado used an older machine, the Intoxilizer-5000.  This machine not only measured breath alcohol content (BrAC), but it also captured a second breath sample for independent testing if the defendant desired.  This machine was certified under the requirements set forth in Colorado statutes and CDPHE regulations.  Further, the full technical information contained in the operation manuals of the I-5000 were available to attorneys and the public and CDPHE personnel readily answered all questions pertaining to the I-5000.

But it was a completely different story with the I-9000, which did away with second-sample capture of breath tests.  From its adoption, the I-9000 has been shrouded in secrecy and mystery.  CDPHE has repeatedly refused to provide any technical data or information regarding the testing and certification of the I-9000 prior to its deployment for use in DUI cases.  Both CDPHE and the I-9000 manufacturer have also refused to provide any technical or operation manuals for review by independent scientific experts.  It has now been discovered that serious irregularities took place during the certification of I-9000s by CDPHE and that unqualified/uncertified personnel were involved in the certification of machines.  Further, documents offered by prosecutors in court to verify the certification of I-9000 machines have been carrying the signature/facsimile signature of a CDPHE supervisor who has not worked at the department for over 18 months.  None of these issues have been directly and satisfactorily addressed by CDPHE, the Attorney General, or the District Attorneys of this state.

To summarize, Colorado citizens are currently being tried and convicted with evidence from a scientific device of which no one of scientific credentials is able to ascertain what it is made of, how it works, and how it was evaluated by the State to verify that it was sound and accurate before being used as prima facie evidence of DUI.  Further, the State continues to keep the operational and technical information regarding the I-9000 a secret and has taken all possible measures to prevent the proper scientific and legal vetting of this machine.  Simply put, juries are being told that since the State says the I-9000 is reliable and accurate, we have to just take their word for it!

The Constitutions of the U.S. and Colorado guarantee that a person accused of a crime receive due process of law and be able to confront/challenge the evidence offered against them, and it is the most egregious of violations of these rights to prevent accused persons from being able to investigate, vett, test, and challenge scientific evidence that is offered against them.  That is exactly what is happening in Colorado courtrooms when persons stand accused of DUI/DWAI pursuant to a breath test result from an Intoxilizer-9000.

The Law Offices of Anthony J. Fabian, P.C. remains attuned to these issues and in close communication with other professionals who are intimately involved with the various statewide legal challenges to the improper and unconstitutional implementation and use of the I-9000 and its test results.

1 comment:

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