Colorado has strict requirements governing the collection, storage, and analysis of blood samples for purposes of determining a suspect’s blood alcohol concentration. These requirements are intended to ensure the reliability of evidence collected and used for purposes of proving intoxication. Sometimes one of the best defenses available to a DUI defendant is to challenge the scientific and medical basis for the state’s conclusion that they have a specific, numeric blood alcohol concentration. This is done by an often technical process involving expert testimony and rigorous factual investigation into the background and circumstances of the incident.
Per Se Limits
Per se limits are the measure of a substance’s concentration in the blood that is required to establish legal intoxication. In Colorado, the per se limits for a DUI depend on the intoxicant at issue and in some cases the age of the defendant. Most DUIs involve alcohol. The per se limit for adult DUI suspects of legal drinking age is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. The per se limit for minors is 0.02%. For cannabis, the per se limit in Colorado is 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.
The collection and analysis of blood samples for investigative purposes must be done according to the strict requirements of the Colorado administrative code. This means that the time, place, and manner of the collection, storage, and testing of the sample must all conform to the rules set forth. If the sample is not drawn according to these regulations, if the chain of custody is not traced at every step, or if there is an irregularity in the storage or analysis of the sample, these failures open the door for a good defense attorney to challenge the validity of the test results. In cases where the violations are particularly egregious, the results may be excluded from evidence altogether. In other cases, the procedural irregularities may not be enough to exclude the results, but give the attorney and his toxicology expert enough of a basis to challenge the trustworthiness of the finding. This, combined with a reconstruction of the defendant’s drinking pattern, may be used to put forward an alternative result that exonerates the defendant.
Contact a Denver DUI Attorney Today
If you are charged with DUI, it is in your best interests to immediately retain the services of a skilled attorney. The state bears the burden of proving that you violated the law. If they have been sloppy or biased in their investigation, an effective defense counsel will find the weaknesses in the state’s case and exploit them to your advantage. We cannot guarantee an acquittal, but even in the most difficult cases a good lawyer can use the state’s mistakes as leverage to get you a better deal. Don’t face criminal prosecution alone. The stakes are high, and you have a lot to lose. Contact the attorneys at Tiftickjian Law Firm today. We work hard to come up with the best defense available, and we will fight for your rights.