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Thousands of Colorado DUI offenses could be invalidated

In 2013, the State of Colorado began using the Intoxilyzer 9000 to conduct blood-alcohol levels for every person suspected of drunk driving, and those results were used to charge and convict thousands of people over time.

However, the process used to calibrate, test, and certify the units has recently come under investigation as a whistleblower who worked for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment stated that his signature was forged on certificates used to declare each individual unit accurate.

I have a DUI conviction from 2013 to present. What does this mean?

It means that the evidence provided against you when charges were filed was possibly contaminated. If your blood-alcohol level was determined to be over the limit by a machine that bears a forged signature, where the person who signed the certificate didn't actually conduct the testing of the Intoxilyzer, then the results of your blood-alcohol test might be called into question.

Will convictions be thrown out?

Currently, the Governor's office is not beginning an internal investigation, which supports the State's attorney's office stance that all convictions will remain on the boards. It will be up to criminal defense attorneys to challenge any convictions based on faulty evidence and petition the courts for an appeal. Of course, as the investigation continues and more evidence comes to light on how the Department of Public Health conducts such important certifications, this may change.

What if I am pulled over now and the Intoxilyzer 9000 is used?

As the State of Colorado has been made aware of questionable certificates and the process used to certify their breathalyzers, it is likely that any unit being used currently has been re-tested recently. During a stop for suspected DUI, it is always advisable to cooperate with law enforcement officials. If you are arrested, place a phone call to a criminal defense attorney such that each step of the arrest process--including which machine was used to detect your blood-alcohol content--can be documented for further scrutiny if you end up facing charges.

Is there anything I should do?

If you were found guilty of driving under the influence anytime since the rollout of the Intoxilyzer 9000 program, it's a good idea to contact your criminal defense attorney and take steps to review the records of the machine that was used during your arrest. It was the responsibility of the prosecuting attorney's office to provide evidence that was accurate and truthful. If that evidence cannot be supported due to faulty records and validation process, your conviction may be questioned.

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