AZ high court: Jury should consider Scottsdale DUI results

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The Arizona Supreme Court is refusing to exclude challenged Scottsdale crime lab results of blood-alcohol tests, saying jurors should consider whether alleged flaws in the testing make the results unreliable. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The Arizona Supreme Court is refusing to exclude challenged Scottsdale crime lab results of blood-alcohol tests, saying jurors should consider whether alleged flaws in the testing make the results unreliable. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
For the past five months, Scottsdale's crime lab has stopped processing blood-alcohol tests for DUIs. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) For the past five months, Scottsdale's crime lab has stopped processing blood-alcohol tests for DUIs. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Hundreds of drunk driving cases from the East Valley will not be thrown out, according to a ruling issued by the Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday.

The Court was asked to rule on questionable crime lab results from the city of Scottsdale.

However, the Arizona Supreme Court decision will still have an impact on future drunk driving cases across the state, according to the Valley DUI attorneys, who first brought the issue to light.

"The Supreme Court actually did say the machine malfunctions and lab shortcomings are relevant, and are faulty," attorney Mark DuBiel said. "They just said it didn't go so low that everything gets tossed out."

DuBiel said the ruling means that the reliability of crime lab equipment can now be called into question in future DUI cases.

Scottsdale's crime lab has been under the microscope for several years, ever since a crime lab technician installed old software onto a new blood testing machine.

The old software might not have been compatible with the new equipment, possibly resulting in faulty results in some DUI cases.

Scottsdale officials have insisted all along that they've met or exceeded national crime lab standards.

Scottsdale Communications and Public Affairs Director Kelly Corsette released this statement Thursday:

"The City of Scottsdale is pleased with the Arizona Supreme Court's opinion. We remain committed to presenting accurate and appropriate evidence for juries to consider in criminal cases."

For the past five months, Scottsdale's crime lab has stopped processing blood-alcohol tests for DUIs.

The cases have been sent to Arizona's Department of Public Safety, because two senior forensic scientist positions are vacant, according to Corsette.

"It's an admission they were doing something they should not have been doing," attorney Lawrence Koplow said. "It feels good that we stopped a production line of unreliable evidence that was being given to the public. We'll see what they do in the future."

DuBiel said it is now possible that if someone was convicted of a DUI and served time in jail, that they might be able to have their case retried, if they weren't allowed to introduce evidence about Scottsdale crime lab equipment.

Whether they want to hire an attorney again, and go through another trial will be up to them, DuBiel said.

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