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Recall of Blood Vials Could Effect DUI Cases

Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

Testing blood for alcohol or drugs in Washington state requires use of pre-packaged blood testing kits manufactured and provided to police agencies throughout the state. However, the manufacturer of these blood testing kits just issued a recall for defective vials delivered between August of 2018 and current day. The reason for this recall is the company delivered hundreds of vials that did not contain the preservative necessary to prevent alcohol fermentation, a required component for proper blood testing. What this means is the results of some blood tests could be inaccurate.

Law enforcement routinely use these vials, which come packed in a box for police to carry around in the trunk of their cars until needed, for testing of alcohol or drugs in a person’s blood. This is considered a more direct manner of testing for alcohol then with a breath test machine, which tests for substances in blood by way of the breath.

There have been hundreds of vials used to draw blood from individuals arrested and tried on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence with many cases resulting in a conviction. Others have had their license suspended based on these results.
Because of potentially bad evidence due to faulty vials, many of these cases should be overturned and any blood test results should not be allowed as evidence in the future.Prosecutors have the option of trying DUI cases without blood test results. Under Washington law, a person could be found guilty of Driving Under the Influence if the amount of alcohol in their system impairs their ability to drive safely, regardless of their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. Other evidence can also be found in a person’s behavior, appearance and Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) at the time of the stop.

Call me directly to discuss your DUI case and we will discuss your options, which might include throwing out any tainted blood draw evidence.

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