By Garth O'Brien | December 8, 2007
Filed Under DUI News
Everett, Washington – December 4, 2007. Earlier this year a panel of Skagit County judges heard the legal issue raised by the DUI defense bar to suppress breath test evidence. The issue attacked the breath test evidence on the basis a crime lab manager falsified simulator solution certifications.
The simulator solution is used by the breath test machines to determine a 0.08 reading. Members of the Washington State Crime Lab create batches of the simulator solution for every BAC DataMaster breath machine in the State of Washington. Anne Marie Gordon, the crime lab manager, signed many of these documents without having any involvement with the preparation or certification of the solutions. That is a no no, but Anne Marie Gordon avoided a perjury prosecution when King County Prosecutors failed to understand committing perjury is a crime.
The Skagit County panel of judges did not care that a member of the law enforcement investigation team falsely certified evidence. Those courts allow the tainted evidence to go before a jury.
Snohomish County judges have greater legal acumen and a backbone for justice. The Snohomish County panel was not impressed with the tactics of the Washington State Crime Lab and ruled the affected breath tests are inadmissible evidence. That means the breath test will not be introduced as evidence to a jury if any of those defendants take their DUI case to trial.
King County judges will hear this issue in January. Let’s hope they have the decency to toss out evidence that was falsely certified by an agent of the government. I am not thrilled hundreds of DUI defendants will benefit from such a ruling, but I am absolutely disgusted a crime lab technician is willing to do whatever it takes to protect evidence and ensure a successful prosecution.