A change to Colorado’s DUI testing system has stoked fears of dropped cases and could shutter a private business
The Colorado Sun
Big questions are swirling around Colorado’s ability to carry out blood tests and prosecute offenders in driving under the influence cases after a policy switch that could jeopardize cases and put a private lab out of business.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation on July 1 began testing blood drawn during DUI investigations for free in an attempt to ease the financial strain on smaller law enforcement agencies and to collect better data on marijuana use among motorists. The idea was to encourage agencies that were not submitting samples for testing because of cost to reconsider.
The testing by a private lab costs $300 or more a case.
In doing so, however, CBI produced the unintended effect of siphoning business from ChemaTox, a lab that had been handling thousands of cases for Colorado law enforcement for years and that’s now slated to close because of the lost revenue. That means the Boulder lab’s workload will now likely shift to the state and prosecutors are worried their cases could be thrown out if the CBI can’t complete testing in a timely manner.
ChemaTox picked up the slack when the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s lab closed in 2013 amid concerns about the accuracy of its testing. Two years later, CBI began testing blood samples, but handled far fewer tests than ChemaTox.
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