Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Intoxylizer 9000 Certificates Get the Boot by Gilpin County Judge

After months of litigation and a days-long hearing on the issue, Gilpin County Judge David Taylor has ruled that certificates issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) certifying that Intoxylizer 9000 machines used to measure breath alcohol in DUI cases cannot be used by prosecutors to establish that these machines were properly tested/vetted by CDPHE as required by statute and regulations.

The court made this ruling because it had been established at hearing that the certificates used by CDPHE exhibited the signature of a supervisor who has not worked at the agency for over a year and a half.  CDPHE continues to maintain that the signature is not a legal affirmation, but a simple formality and that the machines were properly tested/vetted.  The only problem with that claim is that, despite years of requests and legal demands, CDPHE continues to refuse to provide proper proof of its claim.

Colorado began substituting the old Intoxylizer 5000 machines, which had been properly tested/vetted/documented, with the 9000 version in May 2015.  Since then, there has remained controversy regarding the accuracy/reliability of these machines and requests for the information/documentation pertaining to their certification by CDPHE have been repeatedly ignored. The 9000's immediate predecessor, the Intoxilyzer 8000, has already been declared scientifically unreliable in two different states.  There is no substantive difference in the basic technology between the 8000 and 9000 machines.

As the result of Judge Taylor's ruling, verification of the certification of 9000 machines used in Colorado will have to come directly from CDPHE management testimony, which will no doubt prove costly and time-consuming.  Already, other judges in other counties have adopted Judge Taylor's ruling on this issue, with more expected each day.

For more info: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/06/13/breath-test-evidence-dui-cases/

Our law offices continue to maintain a close watch on this issue in the courts...experienced, knowledgeable legal counsel is essential in defending any DUI case.

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