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Fate of many drunk driving cases rests on .001 percent

Fate of many drunk driving cases rests on .001 percent

Last month, the Colorado Springs Independent published an investigative piece detailing the practices at the state's drug testing laboratories, some of which have resulted in political scandals. The lead attorney at this firm, Rhidian Orr, was interviewed by the newspaper for the story.

In Colorado, there are four separate classifications of level of impairment, and each carries its own minimum penalty. If your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is above .050, you can be convicted of driving while ability impaired, or DWAI. Above .080 qualifies as driving under the influence, or DUI. The minimum DUI penalty is a nine-month revocation of your license. However, if your BAC tests at a .170, you will also be subject to the installation of an Interlock system on your vehicle, and any level above .200 carries a mandatory jail sentence.

Many DUI attorneys believe this system is flawed. If your BAC tests at .169, you avoid a mandatory two-year breathalyzer system, or at .199, you avoid mandatory jail time.

Lawyers like Orr have argued that state laboratories' determinations are unreliable, as the high volume of tests conducted often leads to lapses in proper procedure and improperly trained or even malicious staff can affect results to ensure harsher sentencing.

That is why Orr and the attorneys on his team always request ample documentation from the testing laboratory, so that they can be sure their clients are receiving fair treatment and accurate readings.

There are any number of things that can go wrong during a DUI investigation, whether as a result of ill-intentioned tampering or simple mistakes. Orr and his team are here to help those accused of DWAI or DUI in Colorado through thorough investigation and clear argument in court.

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