Minnesota BCA Insider Blows Whistle on Shoddy Work and Unethical Conduct: Act of Courage or Just Plain Cowardice? Part I:
A senior forensic scientist at Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has come forward with shocking revelations. According to the sworn testimony of the 25-year veteran:
1) BCA forensic scientists routinely botch the handling of crucial evidence in about half of all DWI urine cases, resulting in destruction of the evidence; and,
2) A 2003 BCA study published in a prestigious publication includes misleading results and inaccurate conclusions; the BCA has refused to publicly correct its findings and conclusions with the scientific community.
Unfortunately, these revelations come not from a courageous government servant blowing the whistle on shoddy forensic work and unethical conduct. Instead, it's just another attempt by the Minnesota BCA to justify - at all costs â?? a truly shocking lack of scientific accountability.
The Rest of the Storyâ?¦
The two revelations listed above came to light during a civil implied consent hearing. The State revoked our client's driver's license when the BCA reported a urine test result as .09. We had the same sample analyzed by an independent lab, which reported a .05! (See more on independent analysis of urine samples). Now, before you jump to any conclusions, you need to know that two separate BCA witnesses and our privately retained forensic scientist all agreed that the independent lab's test result was valid, reliable and accurate.
The parties presented two equally valid samples with widely disparate results. One result supported the license revocation (being slightly above a .08) while the other (well below .08) did not.
This situation underscores just one of the many, many problems that surround the use of first void urine alcohol tests (F-VUAT) for DWI purposes. Not only can two separate urine samples, taken minutes apart, produce dramatically different results, but now we see that the same sample, tested on different days, can also produce shockingly inconsistent results.
How did we get to this point? Did the BCA, faced with such baffling evidence, agree that their procedures were faulty? Did the State admit error, and tell our client she could have her license back? Sadly, when you live and drive in one of the only states in the world who still use F-VUAT, you're not dealing with a state that is likely to admit that it made a mistake.
Instead, what was revealed was the startling revelations revealed above. Next week, we'll relay to you exactly what was said, and why it's so troubling.