Once again, DUI blood testing has been compromised by sloppy and reckless technicians:
The state is retesting 1,700 DUI blood samples after a laboratory employee failed to follow proper procedures, which skewed the results of the tests.
The mistakes open the door for defense lawyers to challenge all of the blood testing in driving-under-the-influence cases conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s lab.
“There was a situation where an outside lab ran a sample that caused us to rerun a sample, and we were able to track that to a certain employee who was not following the standard operating procedures,” health department spokesman Mark Salley said.
The lab processes DUI bloodwork for 225 law enforcement agencies in Colorado. Some law enforcement agencies, including Denver police, have their own labs. Others contract the bloodwork out to an independent lab.
We have covered the issue of DUI blood testing problems in our series: Challenging DUI Blood Evidence.
In short, blood testing can be very accurate in theory, but in practice it is marred by the overworked and under-trained staff at these crime labs and their shortsightedness. Forensic labs in this country are horribly managed and commit gross injustice by not maintaining the scientific standards they are supposed to uphold.
Even the National Academy of Sciences found that the nation’s crime labs are severely fractured and called for an overhaul of the system.
The matter is simple, if you don’t follow scientific procedures, the test is not scientific. If it’s not scientific- it’s not evidence.