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Understanding Measurement Uncertainty & Confidence Levels in Forensic Testing

1st District Public Defender Annual Meeting & CLE

2280 Cliff Road, Eagan, MN 55122

Dan Koewler of Ramsay Law Firm presented a two-hour presentation educating public defenders on measurement uncertainty and confidence levels in forensic testing.

Measurement uncertainty and confidence levels come from the field of metrology, the study of measurement. We use these metrology tools to demonstrate inaccuracy in breath alcohol testing.

With the understanding that breath alcohol tests can only estimate the true value of a measurand, or the physical property being measured, we use the uncertainty of measurement and confidence levels to determine how close -- or how far -- the estimates may really be. At this CLE, we showed 1st District public defenders how to use these tools in court when defending their clients.

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