DUI tests dubious, poor training rampant at state toxicology lab, critics say

Cindy.Burbach.205x205.jpg
Cindy Burbach.
Any government functionary worth his or her bennies knows that the ideal time for a document dump -- a release of some embarrassing matter you really don't want to talk about -- is late on Friday afternoon. And that goes double for the report Colorado Attorney General John Suthers saw fit to send along to the state's prosecutors and the criminal defense bar in the waning minutes before the close of business on June 7, detailing sizable problems in the state toxicology lab that may have an impact on the outcome of hundreds, if not thousands, of DUI cases.

Defense attorneys are hopping mad about the report, which delves into employee concerns about inadequate training, unsafe storage of evidence, understaffing, supervisor bias and other issues at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's toxicology lab, which performs various blood and drug screening tests for law enforcement agencies across the state. But they're even more furious that Suthers didn't release the report until last Friday -- even though an accompanying letter acknowledges that the report was completed in March and contained information "that could be considered mitigating evidence in the prosecution of certain criminal cases in which the CDPHE lab was involved."

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John Suthers.
"Hundreds of people have gone through the court system in the past three months without knowing about these problems or that the evidence in their case could be compromised," said Sean McDermott, president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, at a press conference outside the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center this morning. The CCDB is calling for an independent investigation fo the CPHE lab and greater use of independent labs in the state justice system.

The state processes close to 30,000 drunk-driving arrests a year. Most of the cases never go to trial because of the blood-alcohol (or breath) testing done by the CDPHE. But DUI lawyers have increasingly questioned the competence of the lab and the credibility of supervisor Cynthia Burbach, who is also the target of many of the employee complaints that triggered an investigation and lengthy report by the Mountain States Employers Council. Burbach retired from the CDPHE after thirty years, just days before Suthers released the report.

Continue for more about today's news conference, including the complete report.


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18 comments
JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

Where is governor pussy? Shouldn't he be launching some kind of investigations? Isn't that what his ilk do when the people under their control are caught doing something wrong?

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

What do expect from a state government overrun with liberal ignorance?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

They're hinting at exculpatory evidence being withheld, which would be criminal obstruction....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The lying bitch should have to serve time -- day for day -- for EVERYONE she helped wrongfully convict and send to prison


Che Harness
Che Harness

Coincidence? From people that have stated they don't approve of the passage of A64 and have taken steps to restrict it in the name of public safety and image? Not likely The first line of your article points out how dishonorable and untrustworthy our government is in that the practice of "Friday dumping" is so common they practically have a name for it A government has to act honorably to be considered honorable and trustworthy. And conspiracy has such minimal requirements for application.

Chuck Meredith
Chuck Meredith

I think we all know the answer without having to say it. But what I'd like to know is.. what about those people that have been convicted of DUI while she was running the state lab? How many were prosecuted and shouldn't have been?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

This makes me more than sick ! Aren't the odds w/ the cops anyways, as they arrest you for drugs brought in by our OWN government ?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JimTom ... shouldn't you be polishing your assault rifle?


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

They might have qualified immunity for criminal obstruction, too. Someone who wants to get justice would probably have to go the "rights violation" route and prosecute under US code. Clearly, someone who's been denied due process by subterfuge should be able to get a judgment for a rights violation.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Cognitive_Dissident  

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CRIMINAL !!!

Then again, recall how tenderly Patrick Sullivan was treated .

This comes as little surprise .

Cops EXIST on lies ! 

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Chuck Meredith  

LIKE ME !!!???

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay all shined up and ready for use. Thanks for your concern.

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

@Juan_Leg typical liberal non-response. It's hard to argue when the complete state government is run by liberals isn't it?

JimTom
JimTom topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay that explains why chistianity is so fucked up!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident

@DonkeyHotay @JimTom 

Jesus was libertarian. Unlike the American Liberal, he eschewed the gang violence known as The State.

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