A Huge Win for Ramsay: The State Must Adjust for Bias

Posted On February 21, 2024 Charles Ramsay

We had a massive win for justice last week! Our client was falsely accused of driving with a breath alcohol concentration over the legal limit of 0.16. But our client should’ve never even been charged with driving while being over 0.16.

Here’s the problem: The state’s breath alcohol machine was calibrated too high. 

Both of our client's breath samples were measured to be 0.160. However, during calibration, the machine measured the reference sample to be 0.001 higher than the true value.

The state crime lab says it doesn’t matter if the machine reads high. But it does matter to the person being tested!

Originally, the Attorney General refused to give a lesser penalty due to the problem with the machine. Then, we were hired on as co-counsel. 

We explained the science of how the machine was biased. And we had an expert report about why this was a problem. 

Armed with the science, the Attorney General agreed!


If a machine is measuring high, you must subtract the amount by which it is reading high. But it’s not just us who think this way. Scientific documents agree with us.

The international consensus document called the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty Measurement (GUM) says that you must adjust for bias before calculating the final result. 

And it’s not just the GUM that says this. The BCA’s own consultant, Rod Gullberg, wrote a report stating that you must adjust for bias. 

He said the lab must, 

“Adjust the breath alcohol mean by the amount of systematic error determined from simulator results and toxicology lab reference values based on either the Field Results or the Quality Assurance Results.”

This isn’t rocket science. But the state crime lab pretends that this calculation is insurmountable. 

Thankfully, in this case, we got a good outcome without having to go to court. Sometimes, having the right defense means you can avoid a day in court.


If you’ve been accused of a DWI, you need a firm that understands the science and the law. At Ramsay Law, we have the only board-certified DWI defense in the state (recognized by the American Bar Association, not the MSBA). 

We look at all the breath machine data to ensure you get the best defense possible.

Call 651-604-0000 to talk with us today.