In recent posts, we've kept our readers up to date on the scandal plaguing the Colorado state toxicology lab following allegations that employees responsible for testing blood samples in alcohol- and marijuana-related driving cases were biased in the favor of prosecutors.
An article published in The Denver Post on Wednesday, July 18, helps to illuminate the gravity of this issue. According to the source, scientific evidence holds a significant amount of weight when jurors are trying to determine whether an individual is guilty of drunk or stoned driving, so when a toxicologist is called to the stand, his or her testimony is generally very important.
A Colorado DUI attorney told the news outlet that "in Colorado DUI cases, it is common for prosecutors to call a toxicologist or chemist to get results of blood tests into evidence, explain how the test was completed and what the results show," adding that "toxicologists may also give a range of how intoxicated or impaired a defendant may have been when the sample was taken, based on test results and other research."
The main problem with this, notes the publication, is that sometimes toxicologists will give additional testimony that they aren't technically qualified to provide regarding a defendant's ability to operate a vehicle at the time he or she was pulled over. That being said, it's easy to see how a biased toxicologist could ostensibly sway the jurors when he or she takes the stand.
Here at The Orr Law Firm, we've been at the forefront of this important issue, and even helped expose the problems that have been occurring at the toxicology lab. Our DUI defense attorneys are committed to securing fair outcomes for individuals who have been accused of crimes in the Rocky Mountain State, so don't hesitate to contact us if you need a lawyer.