Changes coming for state toxicology lab after review

DENVER - The Colorado health department is announcing changes at its toxicology lab after an investigation found that a refrigerator holding blood-alcohol samples from suspected drunken drivers was unlocked.

The investigation also found inadequate staff training and understaffing.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Friday that all refrigerators with blood-alcohol samples are now locked, staff training has been reviewed, and the staff is receiving more training.

Health department executive director Chris Urbina says Mountain States Employers Council was contracted to do the investigation in March following staff complaints about a supervisor, who retired last week. An interim staff manager has been assigned for toxicology lab operations until a new manager is hired.

Urbina says the investigation was about personnel issues, not the validity of the lab's tests.

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