Lab Error May Have Caused Inaccurate BAC Results in Erie County
The discovery of a testing error at a laboratory facility means that about 1,700 Erie County blood alcohol content (BAC) results have needed to be reviewed.
According to initial reports, the reprocessing resulted in several tests that needed to be adjusted. However, it’s not yet clear what that will mean for the driving under the influence (DUI) cases associated with those results.
Earlier in August, the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Forensic Services (BFS) informed the Erie County District Attorney’s Office that a regional laboratory had used an incorrect calibration process that did not meet BFS standards. However, the BFS did point out that the process used was not necessarily scientifically inaccurate. The tests in question took place between December 2013 and May 2016.
In the letter, BFS Scientific Services Director Deborah Calhoun noted that while the affected samples only saw minor shifts in their results, the issue could impact a small number of DUI-related cases.
BAC results in question
Although it is yet to be seen if the reprocessed results actually impact any cases, the issue is troubling for those who may have faced or are currently facing DUI or related charges in Pennsylvania. These individuals often already feel as if the deck is stacked against them in the criminal justice system, and the fact that inaccurate BAC results could be in play is just another reason why those accused of DUI should work with an experienced defense attorney as they fight the charges against them.
In Pennsylvania, anyone found to be operating a motor vehicle with a BAC at or above .08 percent may be charged with driving under the influence. The penalties upon conviction may include large fines, jail time and the suspension of driving privileges.
To learn more about your options when facing DUI or DWI charges in Berks County, speak with skilled Reading criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.