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Blood Tests Under Fire

Theoretically, all blood draws should have the same results. Unfortunately, they don't always. The Austin Police force tests blood when a drunk driving suspect refuses a breath sample. The Austin Police then do their own testing. It is now being revealed that when the suspects get their own independent testing, the results are coming back lower. For example, one drunk driving defense attorney obtained a court order to have his client's blood retested. It was retested by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, an accredited and nationally recognized lab. The results were 20% different, with the new results coming it at jut .08 instead of the initial results from the police at .10.

The Austin Police Chief, Acevedo said assured the public that their crime lab operates under high standards and mistakes are rarely made. However,, he said, "I will ask my staff to contact that lab to see what their process is to see if there's something different," The chief said that he tried to contact the private lab, but their calls were not returned.

"Twenty percent would not be an acceptable discrepancy with in a laboratory that they can evaluate what is right and wrong," said Toxicology expert Dwain Fuller. Fuller is an expert who testifies in criminal cases around the country. There are several potential explanations for the differences, such as 1. improper testing, 2. evaporation of the alcohol when the sample isn't stored properly, 3. the tester rounding up the third digit, or 4. dropping off the third digit entirely.

An Austin Police Department forensic toxicologist said that a 20 percent difference isn't a big deal. What?!? While it may not seem like a big deal to them, it's the difference between jail and freedom, fines and no fines, criminal record no criminal record. Their response seems irresponsible and insulting. Toxicology expert Fuller said 20 percent is significant. The reality is, if we are going to allow "scientific" evidence, such as BAC into court, it must be precise and accurate.

If you have been charged with DUI or drunk driving in Overland Park, Olathe, Leawood, Lenexa, Shawnee, or other city in Kansas, contact our DUI defense firm to speak with an experienced defense lawyer.