State Alcohol Lab Mislabels Controls

Posted On February 13, 2023

Last week, I told you about how the State alcohol lab failed to use matrix-matched controls; the week before, I showed how they don't calibrate their pipette, and now I'm finding that they have been mislabeling the controls they run with their alcohol analysis!

Down the rabbit hole

I didn’t think the rabbit hole could go any deeper. But what I’ve uncovered is ugly.

Let me explain.

The BCA lab purchases exact concentrations of alcohol standards to run with their blood and urine alcohol analysis. These standards act as controls. They let us know how close to the true value the State’s alcohol machine is actually measuring. 

These controls come in precise concentrations. They even come with an official certificate of analysis that tells us the exact certified concentration.

Relabeling (mislabeling) controls on a whim

What does the state do with the precise alcohol control standards? 

They cross out the certified concentration and relabel it with a value closer to the concentration they measure! This is like stepping on a scale to weigh yourself but then looking down to record your measurement and making up a number you'd prefer. 

We see evidence of this in the quality control reports that come with discovery. 

Take a look at the target concentrations. Notice anything funny? 

Controls don’t come from the manufacturer in concentrations such as 0.079, 0.148, 0.301, or 0.503. They come in round numbers like 0.080, 0.150, 0.300, and 0.500.

What the BCA has done is essentially scratch off the certified concentration and write in a number that they prefer. This isn’t just bad science - this is tantamount to treachery.

What's beneath the surface?

The errors I’m finding are likely just the tip of the iceberg. These are the errors that the State didn’t even bother to cover up. 

What other problems are lurking behind the curtain of the State’s alcohol lab? 

You can be sure we’ll find them. At Ramsay Law, we know the science, and we work hard to uncover and expose the State’s sloppy science.

Contact us if you’ve been a victim of the State’s testing errors. And follow me on LinkedIn for updates on the fly.