Error at Orange County Crime Lab Led to False Blood Alcohol Readings

A "minor" error at the Orange County Crime Lab that has been allowed to continue since May of this year likely threw off the blood alcohol readings for hundreds of people. The lab recently reported that, due to a calibration error that was not discovered until this month's audit, one of their testing machines was off by .003 percent.

The Orange County Crime Lab averages two separate blood alcohol tests from different machines for each individual tested to arrive at the most accurate result. The .003 percent error combined with the fact that blood alcohol tests are averaged has led the Orange County District Attorneys' Office to believe that the error will not change most of the 900 total effected cases. It is those cases that were affected that our firm is revisiting.

Virginia Landry was featured on the front page of the Orange County Register's account of this error ("Flawed Test Misstated Blood-Alcohol Results" Part 1 and Part 2) and was also interviewed by ABC7 Eyewitness News Correspondent Eileen Frere. The crime lab and the District Attorney's office, although they did send out informational letters to the 900 individuals affected, seem to be making light of this error, but in reality this reveals a complete lack of quality control.

Accurate calibration is vital to produce accurate blood alcohol test results. Without accurate blood alcohol test results, people could be wrongfully accused of driving under the influence. As of right now, our firm plans on taking a second look at 30 cases because of this error.

As licensed BAC and field sobriety testing officials and former crime lab officials ourselves, the staff at The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry have the unique qualifications necessary to handle these types of cases. If you received a letter from the Orange County District Attorney's Office and you would like your DUI case revisited, contact our firm today for a free consultation!

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