With modern technology, lab testing is a basic part of criminal cases involving
drugs and alcohol. However, sometimes lab evidence can be proven to be
unreliable, which makes it easier to, for example, build a strong defense
for somebody arrested for
The Rise and Fall of Annie Dookhan
Massachusetts chemist Annie Dookhan was considered a dream employee at
a government drug testing lab. Somehow, Dookhan managed to take on more
cases and still get test results in half the time it took her colleagues.
Dookhan was something of a superwoman.
That all changed when evidence emerged that Annie Dookhan was actually
a prolific liar who had cut corners, altered test results, and mishandled
evidence. Suddenly, evidence used in 34,000 criminal cases was under question,
and dozens of drug dealers had to be released from jail.
While Dookhan’s story is a pretty rare one, it provides a powerful
lesson: lab evidence can make all the difference in the world when it
comes to ending up behind in bars or not.
Blood Tests as DWI Evidence
Blood test results can often make or break a DWI case. Texas drivers have
the right to refuse to take a blood test, but
refusal to consent to a chemical sobriety test has severe consequences. Moreover, the right to refuse to testing completely disappears if the
arresting officer has a warrant. If somebody is killed or seriously injured
or if the suspected drunk driver is unconscious, a police officer can
demand a forced blood draw even without a warrant.
Of course, if your blood alcohol test registers anything higher than the
legal limit of 0.08 percent, the government can make a strong DWI case
The blood test is probably the most accurate way of measuring blood alcohol
content (BAC), and is the only fail-proof way to scientifically determine
the presence of certain narcotic drugs. However, even
blood tests can have issues and a truly competent Texas DWI attorney will
know how to challenge test results or even have them suppressed by the Court.
Challenging Texas DWI Blood Test Results
There are basically three phases in any blood sample testing: collection,
analysis, and reporting. Drawing blood is a highly sensitive medical procedure,
analysis involves the use of advanced technology that needs to be calibrated
properly, and reporting must be scientifically rigorous and adhere to
sound scientific procedures like error reporting. In other words, DWI
blood test results can be challenged for mistakes in any of the three
phases. Some of the possible issues in Texas DWI blood test cases include:
- The person administering the blood draw was not properly qualified.
- A cleaning swab containing alcohol was used before the blood draw.
- The blood was drawn from an artery rather than a vein.
- The blood test result was not recalibrated to whole blood value.
- The blood sample was not preserved properly with anti-coagulants.
- Delays or changes in temperature resulted in fermentation of the sample.
- Challenging the method of testing for presumptive rather than confirmatory testing.
- The lab failed to report the total uncertainty or range of error of the
method it used.
- The prosecutor’s chain of custody of the sample has gaps.
- Law enforcement failed to preserve samples for retesting by the defendant’s
Of course, blood test results can be challenged in other ways — it
all depends on the experience and background of the defendant’s
criminal defense attorneys. Even if you submit to a DWI blood test and register higher
than the legal BAC limit, you can avoid being convicted for DWI.
The Kyle Law Firm | Texas DWI Lawyers
Whether or not you’ve submitted to a DWI blood test in Texas, it’s
extremely important that you choose an experienced
DWI lawyer who will fight for you in every way possible. The
DWI defense attorneys at The Kyle Law Firm are nationally recognized for offering
solid DWI/DUI defense to their clients.
Call us toll-free at 1-877-316-1373 or contact us online for you free defense