Freedom through Independence: Additional Analyses Prove Government Tests Inaccurate

Posted On May 03, 2010 by Charles Ramsay

Our society has a blind faith in government forensic test results. The public's confidence is particularly fervent in drunken driving cases. This confidence in government tests, however, is unfounded.

In 2009, the National Research Council reported serious deficiencies in the nation's forensic science system and called for major reforms and new research. It discovered that mandatory certification programs for forensic scientists were lacking, as were strong standards and protocols for analyzing and reporting on evidence. It found a scarcity of peer-reviewed studies establishing the scientific bases and reliability of many forensic methods.

Media reports provide support for the 2009 study. Major crime labs around the country have been exposed for unscrupulous behavior, resulting in erroneous, untrustworthy forensic testing. For example:

In Washington, a judge found "ethical lapses, systemic inaccuracy, negligence and violations of scientific principles| in the state's crime lab and threw out hundreds of breath tests.

The mayor completely shut down the Detroit crime lab after voluminous errors were discovered.

The Houston crime lab has had numerous failures.

Colorado Springs metro crime lab's blood alcohol results were just plain wrong.

San Francisco's crime lab is in the midst of a scandal which jeopardizes |thousands of cases.|

Minnesota's crime lab, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), has thus far escaped wide spread scandal (notwithstanding the source code debacle). Still, it is not immune. Anecdotal evidence has emerged, signaling similar problems exist in Minnesota.

This year, our firm has discovered the Minnesota BCA has reported inaccurate test results in specific cases with all three of its DWI alcohol tests: blood, breath and urine. In the following three parts of our series, we will provide information about these cases demonstrating that individual drivers can help protect themselves through both administering independent tests and performing independent analysis of the state's DWI alcohol samples.

Part 2: BCA Reports Inaccurate Blood Test Results

Part 3: BCA Reports Inaccurate Urine Test Results

Part 4: Intoxilyzer 5000's Inaccurate Breath Test Results