The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently announced a proposed rule change to the Code of Colorado Regulations having to do with breath testing machines. The rule will essentially allow for the state to replace the Intoxilyzer 5000EN with the Intoxilyzer 9000. These new instruments have better memory and networking capabilities than the antiquated 5000ENs, which currently use dial-up technology from circa the 1980s. The 9000s will also be networked directly to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s server.
According to CDPHE, Colorado has already purchased 200 machines at an expense of approximately $1.7 million. The hefty price tag does not include all of the training that the thousands of law enforcement officials will have to undergo on the new instrument. All training must be completed within a short two to three month time window as CDPHE hopes to make the switch to the new machines by September 30. Another snafu that the CDPHE could encounter is that if the state does switch over to the new device by the specific date, all counties/municipalities will have to be on the same page as for the timing/usage of the new devices to be installed.
A few benefits of the proposed rule to change to the Intoxilyzer 9000 are:
- Increase in the correct application of these rules by removing outdated regulatory requirements.
- The direct time savings to law enforcement, judicial districts, and legal community resulting from gained efficiencies in the EBAT program.
The cost and benefits for inaction to the proposed rules are:
- Continued legal challenges and questions from the legal communities to CDPHE and Law Enforcement Agencies regarding the existing rules and their interpretation due to the vagueness in the current language.
- Increased financial impact and resource allocation to CDPHE, Districts, Defendants, the Department of Revenue, and Law Enforcement Agencies to litigate DUI and DUID cases.