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The Scottsdale Police Department Crime Lab--The Story Continues

Recently, many local news outlets have begun to cover the ongoing problems at the Scottsdale crime lab. The public attention that has been brought to bear on these issues was precipitated by a recent ruling in the Superior Court regarding 11 felony cases involving charges of aggravated DUI. Although the ruling in those cases do not bind court with regard to any other cases that went through the same crime lab or provide relief to any persons whose DUI has already been adjudicated in the Scottsdale Municipal Court, the information that has been developed during the course of that litigation has provided additional insight into the inner workings of the crime lab that can be of great benefit to a skilled Scottsdale DUI defense attorney.

Specifically, the Superior Court case involved a lengthy evidentiary hearing wherein it came to light that the Scottsdale Police Department was routinely using a gas chromatograph machine with a known history of mislabeling vials with the wrong information, turning off for no apparent reason, and experiencing other malfunctions which went unrepaired. In the Superior Court case, the court ruled that the blood test results from that particular machine were not reliable enough to be used in court and ordered that the prosecution would not be permitted to use the test results against those defendants. Although the ruling is being appealed by the prosecution, the particular machine at the Scottsdale crime lab which was the subject of the dispute has been apparently removed from service by the crime laboratory.

These technical issues have been known to experienced Scottsdale Attorneys for some time. The Superior Court case brought these issues to light in a more public way and will hopefully result in significant changes at the crime laboratory which will decrease the possibility that erroneous readings could be used in Scottsdale DUI prosecutions