Agency Under Siege: The MN BCA Attempts to Repair its Damaged Reputation

Posted On January 26, 2010 by Daniel Koewler

Recently, the Superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension sent a "fluff piece| to the Minneapolis Star Tribune titled, |Some Love for Forensic Scientists| touting why everyone should have |confidence in the quality of the BCA scientists' work.|

The whole theme of this article can be summed up in one of the first sentences, where the Superintendent states, |without the painstaking work performed by forensic scientists . . . I'm confident justice would be served far less often in real life.|

This statement baffles me, and should baffle you too. Where was this confident sense of justice when the Intoxilyzer 5000 was failing? Are we honestly expected to have confidence in an agency that knew for years that the Intoxilyzer was experiencing critical flaws, and boldly refused to fix those errors because of fears that fixing their mistakes would undermine the aura of perfection the BCA attempted to create around the Intoxilyzer? That's neither justice nor good science.

And what about the BCA's DWI urine testing regime? Minnesota is probably the only state to actually use first void testing regularly for DWI prosecutions. In fact, even other countries, those with far stricter DWI laws, won't use urine testing for DWI prosecutions.

When a scientific agency is the only one doing something a particular way, it can only mean one of two things â?? either they are on the cutting edge of science, or they're stubbornly clinging to science that has already been clearly and unequivocally refuted. I can tell you for a fact that the BCA's treatment of urine testing isn't cutting edge science.

What we have here is an agency that claims, in the newspapers, to be using scientific principles to ensure justice in the courtroom. What every Minnesotan needs to know, however, is that those scientific principles are typically ignored by the BCA for purely political reasons, and that always leads to injustice.

A truly independent scientific agency would not refuse to fix its Intoxilyzers for fear of looking foolish. An agency dedicated to sound science and fair convictions would not cling to an outdated and discredited method of urine testing to convict Minnesotan drivers of DWI.

Maybe a better title for that article would have been, |Science Only When it Suits Us.|

If you or your attorney have bought into the belief that the scientific evidence presented by the Minnesota BCA is unassailable, you're wrong. We fight this evidence every day - and win. If you're being charged with a crime based on supposedly scientific evidence, call the Ramsay Law Firm. We don't believe the hype â?? we get results.

Please view our website at Ramsay Results

Please follow us on Facebook at Ramsay Results â?? Facebook

Please follow Mr. Ramsay via Twitter