Thursday, August 2, 2007

State crime lab manager resigns, DUI cases in question

State crime lab manager resigns, DUI cases in question:

Accusations against the former manager of the Washington State Patrol's toxicology laboratory could leave hundreds of drunken driving cases and some drug cases in question, lawyers say.

The manager, Ann Marie Gordon, resigned July 20 after the patrol began investigating an anonymous tip that she failed to check a solution as required before signing sworn statements that breath test machines were functioning properly.
Crime lab officials say that there are redundant checks, so one person's lapse does not invalidate the tests. However,
"I think this is an issue for every DUI case currently pending in this state," said Francisco A. Duarte, a lawyer in Bellevue. "Every single machine in the state of Washington relies on the solution prepared by the Washington state toxicology lab."
Mr. Duarte is a Trial Ad instructor at the UW.

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