If you or anyone you know has ever been pulled over and investigated for a possible DUI in Arizona, you understand that the technology at the fingertips of police is such that these investigations can be completed in minutes. Additionally, lab tests for DUI can be done in ways that were simply not possible 20 or 30 years ago, and suspects can become defendants based on the results of blood and other tests in ways that make it very difficult to challenge that evidence.
However, with technology comes risk, and that risk is being defined in a legal challenge that has been filed on behalf of several felony DUI defendants in Scottsdale. These defendants want to know if a potential mistake made by lab technicians who handled evidence relating to their cases could have skewed the results of those lab tests. If that is what the court decides happened, it could open the floodgates to hundreds of challenges if not more to lab results that were offered as evidence in DUI cases.
Specifically, defendants are challenging the results of lab tests that were done in Scottsdale by technicians who were using the latest version of blood testing machines in 2009 but who were also using an older version of the software that is needed to make sure that the tests are completed. If it turns out that this older software corrupted the results in any way, it could lead to a decision to invalidate that evidence and throw all of those cases into doubt.
While the situations are not exactly analogous, the basic argument that the defendants are making is that this situation is somewhat like purchasing a new computer with a new processor and then loading up a very old version of Windows for the operating system. Anyone who has done that knows that files can be corrupted, that formats can be all but destroyed and that the computer simply will not run as it was meant to be used.
That situation is also obviously far less serious than being arrested and convicted of DUI in Arizona. People who are convicted of felony DUI can and usually do face mandatory jail time, stiff fines and penalties, the loss of driving privileges for an extended period of time and many other remedies that are anything but pleasant or easy to handle. The case is sure to be watched closely by Scottsdale DUI defense lawyers who may have represented clients who were charged with DUI during this time period, as they could be making moves to challenge the results of those cases if the court finds that these results were invalid.
Technology has changed everything in our daily lives, but it has also increased the possibility that mistakes will be made and that people will suffer as a result of those mistakes. There are few things more harmful than a wrongful felony conviction on someone’s record. If you are facing a DUI-related issue, contact the Law Offices of Douglas A. Schwab today to schedule an initial consultation.