Science of a DUI Case
I got tired of stipulating the blood and drug test results in my career, so I became determined to learn how these things work, and once I did, it was like opening up Pandora’s Box. In some cases, the science is shaky, but a lot of times, the government witnesses are just completely wrong on the science or they’re not being honest about the limitations of the machine, and they try to portray these analyzers and gas chromatographs as infallible. Just because a machine has been approved by the government doesn’t mean it is accurate.
In fact, many government experts don’t even know the difference between accuracy and precision. Accuracy is getting as close as possible to the true result, while precision is getting roughly the same result multiple times. It’s possible to be very precise and still not hit the bull’s eye. In terms of field sobriety tests, they state their purpose improperly; they’re not being honest about what the tests are designed for, so you have to know more than they do about the tests, to make it easier to defend against them. I took the time to join the National College for DUI Defense, which is a national organization that provides training across the country.
What Are Some Pointers that Indicate Inaccuracy In a Report?
I’ve seen things that are as simple as an entry that said the sample was sonicated. This meant the sample clotted and the clot needed broken up. Clotting is very bad. Once blood is clotted in the tube before you test it, it’s been compromised, so that’s simple. On the other end of the complexity scale is stuff like a calibration curve, which is the internal measuring stick you compare all unknowns against, is water-based calibrator instead of a blood-based calibrator. Two different sample matrixes will not give the same results.
In chromatography, the matrix, which is the liquid, to make it real simple, alcohol will diffuse out of that at a different ratio from water than it will alcohol, so if you’re using a water-based measuring stick, you’ll get a different result than from a blood-based measuring stick. Also, alcohol in water is cheaper than alcohol in blood, so the government is being cheap and cheap doesn’t lead to accuracy.
We can also find out if they followed their own protocols, because we have the Pennsylvania State Police blood alcohol and drug testing manuals, I’ve found cases in which they violated their own policies. If they say they shall do something and they don’t; they can’t say they have a valid test result. They’re often producing results for a whole batch of samples for which they’re violating their own policy.
Can The Police Force Me to Undergo Any of These Tests?
If you refuse these tests in Pennsylvania, they can’t force you to give one, but they can get a search warrant to get it, and if you refuse the blood test, you’ve automatically put yourself in the highest punishment bracket, and the jury will be given an instruction that your refusal can be perceived as guilt. Also, in Pennsylvania, you will lose your license either a year or 18 months, just for the refusal; that’s on top of any license suspension that comes from a conviction.
Even a first-time offender who refuses a blood test will go to jail for between three days to six months and lose their license for a year. Let’s say the kid was just scared and had only 0.07 BAC; his true blood alcohol content would make him innocent, but by refusing, he put himself in the terrible position of going to jail and losing his license two years.
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