Where's the Beef?? Government's Attempt to Defend Urine Testing Lacks Meat

Posted On January 15, 2010 by Daniel Koewler

Practicing on the cutting edge of criminal defense law is highly rewarding for both our clients and our attorneys. It wasn't too long ago that we renewed our attack against Minnesota's illogical urine testing regime for DWI suspects. We carefully crafted a unique legal argument and have already seen success for our clients in the district courts as a result of this argument. Such arguments require a strong scientific understanding â?? not just legal experience â?? and take a determined lawyer to prove effective in court.

Just last week, we brushed up on our studies and held another Frye-Mack hearing. This type of hearing is a key part to our attack against a urine testing regime that is being used to convict Minnesota drivers who may not have had any alcohol in their bloodstream when they were driving. If you think that last sentence sounds absurd, wait until you read what the government presented as evidence that Minnesota's method of urine testing is a "generally accepted practice| in the scientific community.

- The government expert initially relied on numerous studies that purportedly supported the way Minnesota conducts urine tests. On careful cross examination, however, the expert was quickly forced to admit that the authors of these studies actually oppose the way Minnesota uses urine testing in DWI cases.

- The government witnesses were unable to speak about a single other state that uses urine testing for DWI's in the way that Minnesota does. Again, cross examination was able to reveal to the court that Minnesota is the only state to utilize first void urine samples to convict DWI suspects.

- When we had our chance to present testimony (something we've perfected since we first formulated this argument) we presented volumes of unrebutted testimony, expert opinion and scientific articles that make one thing clear: Minnesota needs to stop using urine tests to convict drivers of DWI.

- We introduced a new peer reviewed scientific treatise, "Relationship between Blood and Urine Concentrations..." by Dr. A.W. Jones to be published later this year in Forensic Science International. Dr. Jones' data supports his previous conclusions that Minnesota urine testing is bad science.

- In a bombshell, the former supervisor of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's toxicology section, Glenn Hardin, testified he submitted a written proposal to rid the state of urine testing to determine a specific level of alcohol in DWI cases. His political supervisors, however, thwarted his attempt to rid Minnesota of unscientific urine testing.

The testimony has all been heard; now we're waiting for the judge to issue a ruling. Given our experience in the area, we're expecting a victory for our client, and hope to be able to post again soon with another judicial order explaining what every other scientist (outside the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) understands: Minnesota's urine testing regime is unreliable and inaccurate.

If you've been charged with a DWI, and the government is using the results of a urine test against you, you'll want attorneys with the background, experience and drive to make sure that your rights are protected. That means calling Ramsay Law Office, where we don't just let the government get their way â?? we get results.

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