Colorado DUI Attorneys must challenge Blood Results with Lab Closing

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Judges in difficult spot with blood sent out of ColoradoRecently, the Colorado Lab that tests blood results in DUI cases suspended its testing.    This has put a lot of DUI cases in limbo as defendants wait for their blood to be tested.  If you are one of those people who was arrested for a DUI in Colorado and submitted to a blood test, you may be wondering what will happen to your blood results and what your Colorado DUI Attorney can do about it.

Well, the blood samples are currently being sent to an out-of-state lab.  As far as Colorado is concerned, sending the blood to be tested at a certified lab is a pragmatic solution to the problem.  But the problem with this solution is that it is not very pragmatic for the courts.  It is going to put the courts in a very difficult situation that they may not be able to resolve.

The difficult situation is this:

How are the Courts going to get the lab analysts to testify in Colorado about the Blood Results?

A few years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court found, in the case of New Mexico v. Bullcoming, that the lab analyst who tested the blood must come to court and testify about his findings.  The court stated that it is a violation of the Constitutional right to Confront Witnesses to have anyone other than the lab analyst testify about the results.

So imagine that you have your blood drawn by someone in one of the more remote regions of Colorado, say Lamar.  Then the blood is sent to Illinois for testing.  if the lab result is contested, the lab analyst will have to come to court for a hearing and for the trial.  Normally, the lab analyst would be subpoenaed to court to make his appearance but the problem with a Colorado Subpoena is that it is not binding on someone outside of the State.  So the subpoena will have no effect on the lab analyst in Illinois.  Further, even if the lab analyst decides that he is going to voluntarily come to Lamar, it is logistically quite difficult to arrange the transportation and scheduling to get the analyst from Chicago to Lamar.

So how do you get busy out-of-state analysts to Court when you can’t subpoena them?  Well, the Courts are going to have a difficult time making this work.  In reality, Colorado may have dug itself into an even bigger hole by sending the blood out of state.


The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.

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Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca