Judge throws out blood tests in Scottsdale DUI cases

The blood tests in at least 11 felony drunk-driving cases in Scottsdale will be suppressed after a Superior Court Judge has ruled that the lab equipment used to test the DUI suspects’ blood is potentially faulty and unreliable.

After a year long battle of testimony and research, the equipment, also called a gas chromatograph, in the Scottsdale Crime Lab has been cited as having a faulty, malfunctioning piece of equipment. The crime lab is still under scrutiny about how much the employees knew about the issue without addressing any problems, and for how long they kept using the equipment despite this knowledge.

There are scientific processes and procedures completed in the lab that are designed to recognize flaws in the equipment used to test blood. Due to the ruling, hundreds of DUI cases could be affected if the suspect’s blood was tested on the malfunctioning machine. There is also potential for this malfunction to impact thousands of other cases that have already been through court proceedings.

Those who will appeal the ruling contest that Scottsdale police were aware of potential problems with the blood testing equipment for years. Court documents report that the machine has various malfunctions such as mislabeled vials with wrong names or numbers, and that the machine quit running during tests and erased information from measurements during test runs.

There were 17 days of highly technical testimony that were defended by crime lab employees who stated that the equipment was not flawed and any compromised blood results were noticed before staff left the lab. The testimony goes further than just technical topics to questioning the honesty and reliability of the Scottsdale Crime Lab Employees. This accusation is a result of emails exchanged between the crime lab’s technical leader letting the manufacturer know of a software issue that had been causing problems, and then 10 days later testifying that there was nothing wrong with the machine.

The ruling raises the possibility that those involved in the felony DUI cases could potentially avoid serving time in jail.

If you have a DUI case in the Scottsdale area, contact a Tuscon DUI attorney immediately to have your case reviewed. The Phoenix DUI lawyers at Thrush Law Group serve clients throughout Arizona and will provide you with the service you deserve to provide the best chance for dismissal or acquittal.

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