Orange County DUI Breath Testing found faulty
Orange County DUI Breath Testing found faulty: As a Los Angeles Times article regarding breath testing machine problems in Orange County detailed, the OC Crime Lab has had problems with their blood alcohol testing in the very recent past.
The Orange County Crime Lab discovered errors in its blood-alcohol testing equipment, and asked for a state audit to review its procedures and case standards, to make sure that the lab complied with its requirements for accuracy.
The discovery came just weeks after the lab, which is operated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, acknowledged inaccurate blood alcohol test results in 2,200 DUI cases filed by OC prosecutors throughout 2012.
Letters went out from the Orange County District Attorney’s office to individuals charged with driving under the influence (DUI), including 900 whose cases had already resulted in convictions. The letters advised them that their cases were found to have miscalculations in their alcohol levels.
Our Orange County DUI Attorney learned that crime lab officials said that their “human error” occurred over a five month period and led to mistakes in the forensic examination of blood alcohol content. Miscalculations affected about 200 cases. As few as 20 people were estimated to have had their blood alcohol test levels drop below 0.08%, California’s legal definition of DUI impairment under Vehicle Code section 23152(b).
Director Bruce Houlihan from the Orange County Crime Lab told The LA Times that the lab had tested blood samples twice using two machines and then averaged the results. One of the machines was off by 0.003 percentage points, he said.
In a statement released Thursday, Orange County Sheriff’s officials said the lab discovered problems with the second machine, which resulted in a calibration error of .001 between December 2012 and May 2013.
The official blood-alcohol results were underestimated in at least 100 cases and will be corrected. In nine of those cases, the level will change from .07 to .08, which would result in those drivers testing above the legal blood-alcohol content limit for driving, sheriff’s officials said. The second error was found after an internal audit.
“I am confident that the Orange County Crime Lab is taking the necessary steps to insure that these clerical errors do not occur in the future,” Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said.
If you suspect that your breath test in your DUI case might have been inaccurate, then contact our firm. We can help defend your DUI case in Orange County.