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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver Discusses Recent Breathalyzer Controversy


February 22, 2017

Police officers have the right to pull you over if they suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol. Once you have pulled over, police officers will use field sobriety tests to see if you are exhibiting signs of intoxication. Then, they will ask you to blow into a breathalyzer device to test your blood alcohol content. If your blood alcohol content is above 0.08%, you are considered to be over the legal limit and will be placed under arrest. But, the accuracy of these breathalyzers has come into question a number of times over the years. Ask any criminal defense lawyer in Denver and you’ll hear about the many ways police officers can get an inaccurate reading using these devices. In fact, challenging the results of a breathalyzer test is a common defense strategy in DUI cases. But as it turns out, there’s good reason for drivers in Colorado to be skeptical of the breathalyzer device.

Attorneys involved in a DUI trial in Jefferson County have alleged that many breathalyzer devices used in Colorado were never certified. What does this mean? Before breathalyzers are sent to law enforcement officers, they must go through the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment where they are closely inspected and certified by qualified individuals. The people who inspect these devices are thoroughly trained before they are put on the job. However, the attorneys claim that in 2013, the department was so backed up that they did not have the resources to have qualified individuals check every device. Instead, they asked unqualified individuals to handle the certification. In fact, the attorneys also claim that the names of qualified people were sometimes forged on documents that approved the release of the devices to local law enforcement agencies.

What could this mean for you? If these allegations are true, the attorneys estimate that thousands of DUI cases in the state would be affected, and should be thrown out. According to the attorneys, because the breathalyzer devices were never properly inspected by qualified individuals, they shouldn’t have been used to determine whether a driver was over the legal limit or not. Therefore, the breathalyzer results for anyone who was tested with the devices in question should not be admissible as evidence in the cases against them.

The media has reported that a whistleblower within the Department of Public Health and Environment was the one who initially leaked the information, but an investigation has not yet been launched to get to the bottom of this story.

Regardless of whether your case was affected by this massive mistake or not, you will still need an attorney to handle your DUI case. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, contact the Law Office of John Buckley. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation.