Lawyers: Lab woes could lead to DUI appeals

DENVER — Potentially thousands of drunken-driving convictions in Colorado could be appealed because of problems at a state laboratory, defense lawyers said today, but prosecutors called that an overstatement.

Members of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar said the appeals could come in cases as serious as vehicular homicides.

They also questioned why state officials did not release a report on the problems until Friday when it was completed in March.

The report said some employees of the lab at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment complained that a supervisor made statements suggesting a bias in favor of prosecutors. The report also said refrigerators containing blood samples were unlocked.

The report did not conclude that anyone lied on the stand or that any test samples were tainted, said Tom Raynes, executive director of the Colorado District Attorneys Council.


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