Blood tests are often treated like the “holy grail” of DUI evidence. Prosecutors see it as infallible and many inexperienced DUI attorneys fail to question the results because of its perceived accuracy. I even once had a prosecutor say to me, in open court mind you, “It’s a blood test. How can you possibly challenge this?” (famous last words before the jury returned a verdict of “not guilty”).
Any experienced DUI attorney will tell you that blood tests are horribly complicated and rarely conducted correctly from collection to reporting.
However… for anyone out there who still believes in the legend, the myth, the fairytale that blood tests are accurate, I challenge you to read this article:
Indiana toxicology lab’s flawed drug testing expected to set off legal challenges
Court confirms results were faulty
The Indiana Supreme Court has confirmed that the state Department of Toxicology provided incorrect test results for use in criminal cases, setting a course for what almost certainly will be a wave of legal challenges.
The full extent of testing problems at the lab remains unknown, but a task force headed by two judges from the Indiana Court of Appeals found at least five cases where retested samples “did not reveal any of the substances originally reported.”
A report issued by the Supreme Court on Monday about the task force’s work said about 500 other samples were either inadequate for retesting or showed some presence of drugs or “a successor substance.” But the report didn’t address one critical issue: whether test results from those samples would meet the scientific and legal standards to stand up in court.
Cases reviewed by the task force were only a fraction of the thousands of positive marijuana and cocaine tests called into question by an independent audit of lab procedures and an investigation by The Indianapolis Star.
Can we now officially group “the accuracy of blood testing” with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?