In Arizona, a DUI conviction is not something taken lightly when deciding punishment. If convicted of a DUI, penalties could include a minimum jail time of 24 hours, a license suspension and numerous fines.
According to the Arizona Government of Highway Safety, in 2012 there was a total of 30,433 DUI arrests. However, recent evidence shows a portion of these could be mistakenly penalized due to faulty technology. Scottsdale’s police lab is currently under fire for alleged defective equipment used to determine the blood alcohol content level of those charged with DUIs in Scottsdale.
Court documents indicate Scottsdale police have known about potential problems with the blood-testing equipment over the past few years. The police lab switched its software in 2009, however, lab technicians continued to use old software in a new blood-testing machine. These are reportedly incompatible and has potentially caused as many as 50 percent of processed blood samples to read inaccurately.
The software glitch was first recognized when lab employees noticed labeled vials with wrong names or numbers, machine failure during tests and showed repetitive blood alcohol tests of 40 people at a time which, according to Scottsdale Attorney Craig Rosenstein, “statistically is not going to happen.”
The Email Trail
Although Sgt. Mark Clark released a statement saying the Scottsdale police lab has “met or exceed[ed] the rigorous standards set by [the] American Society of Crime Lab Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board,” multiple emails between Scottsdale lab employees and their supervisors acknowledged that there was clearly a problem with a machine in the lab.
One email mentioned how the machine failed a test but was logged as having passed. Regardless of the complication, results from tests that were run on that machine were published. Another email indicated that some employees thought the machine should be taken out of service completely.
The emails also exposed at least one concerned lab employee reporting problems with a blood-testing machine to the manufacturer, who wanted to correct the “malfunctioning equipment.”
Another employee who worked directly with the equipment wrote to managers that a machine had failed its weekly autotune check but despite the failure, an entry was made in the log stating that it had “passed the check and casework was done using the instrument.”
Getting charged with a DUI can have many drastic effects on someone’s life such as loss of employment and long term effects like finding a new job.
“Because this problem is just hitting the surface there is no way of knowing how many people have been affected,” said Christopher P. Corso of Corso Law Group. “We’re talking about potentially hundreds of DUI cases. It’s yet another example of why you should hire an experienced Arizona DUI lawyer to represent you in such cases.
What You Can Do
Hiring an experienced DUI attorney is always the best way to protect you and your family. A DUI conviction will remain on your record permanently and will be used as a prior offense for the next ten years. One criminal defense team in Scottsdale has worked with over 15,000 DUI cases.
Corso Law Group will give you the benefit of their expertise when fighting for your case. Having an Arizona DUI attorney with experience means your case will be handled by DUI lawyers who know how the system works and how to best defend you against an Arizona DUI or drunk driving charge.