Man convicted of DUI 2 years after arrest; trial delayed by questions about state toxicology lab

FORKS — Nearly two years after Mark Decker was arrested, he was found guilty of driving while intoxicated and sentenced to serve two days in jail and pay a $1,345 fine.

Decker’s trial had been repeatedly delayed before it was conducted last Friday, as questions about the State Patrol Toxicology Lab results were investigated.

Resignation

In July 2007, lab manager Ann Marie Gordon resigned after she was accused of signing false statements on hundreds of tests.

Hundreds of cases throughout the state were dismissed, and many more were delayed or retried after errors in the way the lab calibrated its Breathalyzer tests were found. The errors slightly skewed some results between 2005 and 2007.

In Clallam County, prosecutors then said that none or very few cases might be affected by the tests at the lab.

At Decker’s trial, several State Patrol experts testified that none of the violations seen in other cases were present in this case, said Doug Jensen, Clallam County deputy prosecutor, in a statement.

‘Justice delayed . . .’

“There’s an old saying in criminal defense that ‘justice delayed is justice served,'” Prosecuting Attorney Deb Kelly said in a statement.

“In this instance, real justice prevailed despite the delays.

“My office’s mission is to get drunk drivers off the roads and keep them off — no matter how long it takes.”

In the original case, court documents said that Decker in December 2007 met with friends at a Forks restaurant and then drove to a local bar.

He was stopped and arrested by the State Patrol while driving home from the bar.

Decker was sentenced to 365 days in the Clallam County jail, with 363 days suspended.

He also was ordered not to drive any vehicle without a DUI Interlock device, which does not allow the vehicle to start until he passes a breath test.

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