Defense attorneys will argue next week to dismiss hundreds of drunken-driving cases across Washington state based on what they allege is a pattern of misconduct and incompetence at the state toxicology lab, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Already, 36 people arrested on suspicion of DUI had their licenses reinstated last month, after several hearing examiners expressed a lack of confidence in the lab’s results.
A flurry of motions to dismiss pending criminal cases or suppress breath-test results were filed after the resignation of lab manager Ann Marie Gordon in July amid allegations that she signed false statements about her work. The recent discovery of a two-year error in the way the lab calibrated its breath-test machines, which slightly skewed some results, has added complaints. “The disregard for procedures really brings into question everything they do,” said defense attorney Francisco Duarte. “This is the first opportunity for the defense to  produce evidence that the government’s misconduct is so egregious that those cases before the court should be dismissed or the evidence suppressed.”