SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Hundreds of DUI cases could be affected after a judge ruled the instrument the Scottsdale Crime Lab uses to test blood alcohol levels is faulty.
Defense lawyers say there could hundreds of people who were wrongly convicted.
The lab has been using the instrument since 2009.
Just this week, Judge Jerry Bernstein suppressed the evidence in eleven drunk driving cases.
The ruling says there was a glitch in the software installed on the device used to test blood alcohol levels. It apparently failed to analyze data from various samples.
In the document, Judge Bernstein also says that the technicians working inside the crime lab knew about the broken equipment but never resolved the problem.
The inconsistent readings were enough for the judge to overturn those 11 convictions.
Now the question is, how many more tests could be faulty?
"We are talking about cases in dating back as far as 2009. The possibility exists that we don’t even know how far we have to go," said DUI Defense Specialist Craig Rosenstein.
This fight is far from over. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office says it will appeal the judge's ruling.
One of the lawyers working on the case, Mark DuBiel says if the Court of Appeals upholds Judge Bernstein's ruling, then hundreds, maybe thousands of other DUI cases will have to be revisited.
Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell said "It’s my understanding the ruling will be appealed by the MCAO (Maricopa County Attorney's Office) and our department is working with them on an appropriate response. As the judicial process moves forward, I continue to have complete confidence in our crime lab personnel and procedures.”
The Scottsdale City Attorney’s Office released a statement saying it maintains full confidence in the evidence evaluated by Scottsdale Police Department's crime lab, and is prosecuting cases in Scottsdale City Court as normal while this ruling is appealed.
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