Challenging DUI Blood Alcohol Content in WA State
This summer the United States Supreme Court ruled on an issue of significance for WA DUI cases involving blood alcohol analysis.
The 6th Amendment contains what is referred to as the Confrontation Clause. The Confrontation Clause is one of many guarantees or constitutional rights that uniquely forms what is considered a fair trial. This clause requires that Defendants have the ability to confront those who accuse them of criminal acts.
In Bullcoming, the case referenced, the court determined that defendants are guaranteed the right to cross-examine and confront the specific lab technician who analyzed their blood for the purposes of determining BAC (blood alcohol content). In this case, the State did not bring in the lab technician who analyzed the blood sample of the defendant (Bullcoming), but instead brought in a second lab technician. The court ruled that the actual technician would be required to testify based upon the following reasons:
- Risk of human error
- Requirement that all administrative procedures were actually followed by the technician
- Requirement of good analytical practices
- The actual technician must understand the science behind the testing
It is imperative that a knowledgeable WA DUI attorney be informed and up to date on all important and relevant case law relating to the practice of DUI defense. New case law such as the above can be extremely beneficial to a client in the defense of their WA DUI charges.