DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Twenty-three Douglas County deputies conducted roadside sobriety tests without certification, the sheriff’s office said.
The department conducted a review of its records from April 1 to August 20 and found those deputies arrested a total of 44 people for driving under the influence.
District Attorney George Brauchler, who works in Colorado’s 18th judicial district that includes Douglas County, said this could impact those drivers’ court cases. A defense attorney may challenge the test results.
“Various circumstances occurred which led to this oversight and we are taking immediate steps to determine how this occurred and to rectify any deficiencies in tracking this. The District Attorney’s Office has been notified of these cases and has advised us they will simply use other evidence to prosecute the case,” the sheriff’s office said in an email.
While all officers are permitted to stop a driver with probable cause, a deputy should not conduct a standard field sobriety test without proper certification. If they pull over a driver and feel a test is necessary, they can request a certified deputy to do it.
It is not standard practice to have every Douglas County deputy certified. However, Sheriff Tony Spurlock said 60 deputies were lacking on their certifications, either because certifications lapsed, or they are new hires were never certified in the first place.
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