Did Colorado state officials forge the signature of a lab technician to rush more than one hundred breathalyzer machines prematurely into service? According to Mike Barnhill, a former technician for the Colorado Department of Health, they did.
As CBS4 reports, Barnhill has come forward with documents he believes used his signature without his consent. This documentation cleared 150 Intoxilyzer 9000 machines to be used by Colorado law enforcement agencies in their policing of drunk drivers. Barnhill believes that, in order to make tough deadlines, officials used his signature in 2013 to certify the machines as accurate and ready for use.
"Somebody else did this and then signed my name," Barnhill told CBS4. He said, at the time, he knew corners were being cut to certify the machines and get them into rotation as quickly as possible. "I didn’t agree with that but you go along with it,“ he added. “I felt uncomfortable with it."
“Fraudulent” Breathalyzer Results
The Colorado Department of Health has yet to comment on the potential scandal, but last month lab director Jeff Groff was asked in a court hearing whether or not he told employees to forge signatures. He explained that many of the technicians working to certify the machines were working under Barnhill's ID—meaning that the certifications are legitimate, even if the signature assigned to the documentation was inaccurate.
Others remain doubtful. CBS4 turned to our own Attorney Danny Luneau to learn what the ramifications could be if the certifications prove to be fake. “…What’s going to happen now, because of these fraudulent signatures, every person who’s charged with DUI and had a breath test is going to bring this up and every jury is going to know they are fraudulent,” he told CBS4. “That’s going to create a reasonable doubt so you’re going to have guilty people found not guilty because of this issue, because of fraud.”
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