I-9000 Breathalyzer Controversy – Part IV

Over the past few weeks, I have been closely following the I-9000 controversy in the State of Colorado. To read more on the background of this controversy, which is currently going through a hearing in Gilpin County, click HERE.

To recap: Several years ago, the Department of Health passed regulations to replace old breathalyzer machines and purchase new ones, phasing out the I-5000 and bringing the I-9000 on board.

There was a deadline for all the I-9000 machines to be tested and certified by the Department of Health. The State missed the first deadline, and, as the second deadline approached, the I-9000 wasn’t ready to go. The State continued to use the I-5000 after the first deadline even though it was supposed to have been removed by the deadline.

Soon, the second deadline was fast approaching and it didn’t appear the I-9000 machines would be ready in time. At this point the Department of Health didn’t want to miss two deadlines, so they pulled unqualified people in to fraudulently certify the machines. These people forged signatures on the certificates.

Although the new machines were fraudulently certified by unqualified individuals, since it was over a year ago and the machines must be re-certified every year, the State claims that the machines are working as they are meant to work.

My question is: how is the machine meant to work?

Jeff Groff’s Missing Research

It is possible that the machine is operating the way it was intended to work, but how, exactly, is it intended to work?

Jeff Groff was initially responsible for testing the machines to make sure they were fair and reliable. But because he mysteriously destroyed his research after he had evaluated the machines, no one has proof that the machines are accurately reading blood alcohol content (BAC).

The analogy I draw is with the Volkswagon controversy, aka “Diesel Dupe”. To quote the BBC:

“Last September, the Environmental Protection Agency found that many VW cars sold in America had a ‘defeat device’ – or software – in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. The German car giant has since admitted cheating emissions tests in the US.” READ MORE HERE.

When you took your diesel VW into the shop to be tested, it operated the way it was supposed to operate. But now we know that the way it was supposed to operate wasn’t right!

So we’re told that the I-9000 is operating the way it is “supposed” to operate, but we have never seen an adequate demonstration that the machines can accurately determine BAC in the person blowing. Has the machine been scientifically tested to prove without a doubt that it can test for BAC? Is it accurate enough that we feel confident sending people to jail over the breathalyzer results, and potentially cause them to lose their jobs or their families?

It’s worth further investigation, without a doubt.

If you have pled guilty to DUI alcohol and you were given a breathalyzer test using the I-9000, call our office to find out more about how this situation could affect your case. Call us today at 303-449-1873 to set up a free consultation.

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