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Lab problems lead to at least one DUI dismissal in Tennessee

In a recent post on our Tennessee DUI defense blog, we shared how a lab worker's mistakes could have a severe impact on drunk driving cases in the state. One man was accused of causing a fatal accident because of drunk driving. But a lab test showed that an initial blood alcohol test was wrong about the defendant. He wasn't a drunk driver.

Now, there is a report that another defendant's DUI charge has at least been temporarily dismissed. His lawyer verified that the blood test used to support a criminal charge was done by the lab worker who was recently fired for his faulty work. Could this DUI dismissal be one of more to come?

Lab work is crucial to many impaired driving cases. Scientific evidence can go far in not just supporting a charge but also a conviction. When there is evidence that sloppy lab work has been conducted, it makes for much uproar and potential hangups in DUI case. Mistakes often don't happen on a one-time basis. If a worker had negligent habits or was improperly trained, his work could have jeopardized hundreds, even thousands of drunk driving cases that he was involved with.

A DUI defense lawyer recently convinced a judge of that point and, in doing so, saved his client from a DUI charge. If further research indicates that the specific suspect's blood test was accurate, then he could be charged again for driving under the influence.

This recent DUI dismissal is an example of how important the credibility of lab work is to a case. Someone who is accused of drunk driving should work with an attorney who knows the right questions to ask and tests to verify.

Source: WSMV, "TN toxicology tests under scrutiny as TBI investigates lab worker," Carley Gordon, Nov. 4, 2013

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