On Monday, June 10 the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) held a press conference outside the Ralph L. Carr Justice Center to address the independent investigation and findings regarding the Colorado Department of Health’s (CDPHE) DUI blood testing laboratory. As disturbing as the report is that it was finalized in March, and only was sent to criminal defendants late Friday June 7. In the time between the end of the investigation and report and the release of this exculpatory and mitigating material, hundreds of motorists accused of driving under the influence in Colorado were kept in the dark.
CCDB President Sean McDermott addressed the issue with the media following by a question and answer session with defense lawyers familiar with the issues, such as Denver DUI attorney Jay Tiftickjian. The story made immediate national headlines, including a story in the New York Times that included an interview with Tiftickjian and Dr. Chris Urbina, the director of the CDPHE.
All local television and print media covered the press conference. Local reports by CBS 4, 9News and The Denver Post also came out Monday. Press releases in response by both Former Lab Director Cynthia Burbach and the Colorado District Attorneys Counsel were released and available in the CBS 4 story.
The March report includes findings that the director was biased toward the prosecution, and that employees were required to testify in court when they didn’t have the knowledge to know what they were testifying about.
Dozens of DUI attorneys gathered on the courthouse steps in Denver to stand behind the criminal defense bar at Monday’s press conference.