If you were arrested for OWI in Michigan the police may have tested either your breath or blood for the amount of alcohol. If your blood level is above the legal limit of .08 in Michigan, then you can end up losing your driver’s license and could even end up going to jail.
Your blood alcohol content will be reported in a report. You can get your DUI blood test results by contacting the police department that arrested you for drunk driving. They may be unwilling or unable to provide you with the results.
If you can’t get your DUI blood test results from the police, then you’ll have to find out where the blood was tested, and contact the lab. Most chemical testing for a DUI involving alcohol or drugs or will tested by the Michigan State Police Forensic Lab in Lansing. If you were arrested for OWI in Oakland County Michigan, your blood was probably tested by the Oakland County Sheriff’s forensic lab.
If you are facing a drug DUI or an OWI because of an unlawful blood alcohol level, then you will probably want to search the internet for a top OWI attorney near me. The OWI/DUI lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm cover cases throughout the entire State of Michigan. Your DUI criminal defense lawyer will be able to obtain the blood test result for you.
Aren’t Blood Tests Accurate Evidence of BAC?
They can be. problem is that forensic scientists too often view themselves as part of the prosecution team, helping the prosecutor understand the science, know how to confound the defense objections to the evidence, and offering them lists of questions to ask when they testify. Then, they feel bad if “they” lose (acquittal of DUI), and feel good if “they” win (conviction of DUI).
There has been a litany of forensic failures and malpractice in labs around the country. In Michigan the lab that tests blood in DUI cases has had it’s share of problems. There are also many problems with blood tests in driving while high cases. As of October 10, 2022, the lab has suspended testing for THC because it can’t tell the difference between it and CBD.
The Michigan labs also don’t engage in blind testing, which is a very basic scientific protocol.
There are about 30,000 drunk driving arrests in Michigan each year, and of these, about 1/3 of them involve blood tests for alcohol or controlled substances. All of these blood tests are performed at the Michigan State Police forensic lab.
And the blood samples all get to the lab the same way – they are sent by the police after an intoxicated driving arrest. This means everyone at the lab, from the lowest clerical staff, to the forensic scientists and lab supervisors, know that if blood is there, it’s because an (alleged) crime has been committed. This seems to violate one of the most basic scientific protocols – blinded experiments.
A blinded-experiment is one in which information about the test is withheld to reduce or eliminate bias and subjective influence. Bias can be both unintentional or unconscious and for this reason blinded experiments do not suggest or infer dishonesty. If dishonesty exists, however, blinded experiments are one way to ferret it out. While blinded experiments are most often used in medical and psychological settings, blinded experiments also help to measure and increase the integrity of researchers and technicians, such as forensic analysists.
While forensic blood testing is not an “experiment” as such, inserting blinds into the system is one way that scientific credibility and objectivity can be maintained. For this reason, the Houston Texas Forensic Science Center has begun sliding blind testing into the lab’s workload. A recent article on the subject from forensicmag.com poses this question:
Can we use blinds as a way of altering the behavior of the system in the direction that we want to?” said Peter Stout, the HFSC’s chief executive officer. “It’s an interesting psychosocial effect.
The article points out that do they receive and insert blood samples with .08 alcohol for testing but that other types of samples are often difficult to come by. In Michigan, the forensic lab’s SOP (standard operating procedure) also includes a variety of calibrators and controls, including a whole blood sample. While these are all good and do help, they are not a substitute for true blinds.
The above-cited article also indicates; the analysts processing the blinds appear to have accepted the testing in stride, Stout added. Instead of perceiving it as some intrusion into their workflow, it has instead only strengthened their testimony. This is especially true in toxicology cases, where the workers are often challenged in court, he added.
It gives them the ability to answer (attorneys’) questions appropriately,” said Stout. “They can say they never know whether they’re being tested. Inserting blinds into the workload at Michigan’s forensic laboratory is one way to address possible bias, raise standards and reduce the possibility of false convictions.
Won’t the Court Dismiss my DUI if the Blood Test is Wrong?
According to the Washington Post article entitled “How the courts trap people who were convicted by bad forensics”
To explain why this is so unjust, some background is in order: Since the onset of DNA testing in the 1990s, we’ve been slowly learning that our criminal justice system frequently comes up short when it comes to keeping junk science and quack experts out of the courtroom. The landmark 2009 National Academy of Sciences report on forensics was clear on this point. From bite mark matching to hair and fiber analysis to “shaken baby syndrome,” the courts have done a poor job of demanding that experts be qualified and credible, theories be grounded in science, and statements of certainty be verified with statistical sampling before allowing such expertise to be heard by a jury.
Interestingly, the Washington Post also makes a point which has been previously made in this blog on several prior occasions:
Most forensic specialties aren’t actually sciences at all, but disciplines that were developed in police agencies and crime labs — not in the interest of pursuing knowledge, but in the interest of helping police solve crimes.
So what is a scientist? An appropriate definition would be a person who investigates something and thereby adds information to the existing body of scientific knowledge. According to Wiki, “a scientist, in a broad sense, is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge.”
Unfortunately, though, forensic evidence is presented to juries as if the evidence is actually scientific, and that the people who testify about it are “scientists.” And so to heighten the impact of their findings, they are given important sounding titles.
For example, when the laboratory technicians at the state lab testify, they are called “forensic scientists.” Yet all the really do each day is mix blood samples for testing, then push a button so the instrument can measure the amount of alcohol or drugs present. At best they are forensic analysts or forensic technicians, but they are most certainly not “scientists.”
Can I Challenge a Blood Test?
Yes, but if you want to win your DUI blood case, you’ll need a to defense lawyer well versed in the DUI laws and the science of blood testing. A top DUI defense lawyer can challenge a blood test. A successful challenge will avoid the consequences of a Michigan DUI conviction, such as loss of personal or commercial driver’s license, fines and jail time.
If you have been arrested for drunk or drugged driving in Michigan, and took a blood test, then contact the Top DUI Lawyers at Barone Defense Firm today. Ask for your FREE no obligation consultation.