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Will a blood test tube recall affect Texas DWI cases?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2021 | Drunk Driving |

Persons arrested for drunk driving in Texas may find the evidence against them complicates a defense. When a blood test reveals a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit, the defendant may think “beating the charges” won’t happen, even when the accused know he or she wasn’t drunk. Challenging blood test results may be possible, as faulty tests might not be admissible in court.

Problems with blood test results in Texas

Recent controversies have come out of the Lone Star State regarding driving while intoxicated (DWI) blood tests. Blood alcohol tests rely on test tubes to perform the necessary procedure. In a shocking development, the manufacturer recalled 247,000 tubes in 2019 because of a defect. A small percentage of tubes lacked preservative powder.

Reportedly, more than 2,700 DWI arrests involved the use of these tubes. Were defective tubes used as evidence in these arrests? Were the tubes defective? Most importantly, were the results accurate and correctly established the accused’s intoxication level?

Such questions may likely come up in court during an appeals process. The answers could have a great effect on the judge’s decision.

Inadmissable evidence in a DWI case

Accusing someone of drunk driving is not enough. The prosecutor must prove the person operated or had control of the vehicle, and the person’s BAC was above the legal limit. Results from blood or breath tests may tell the tale. However, if the police officer didn’t perform the test correctly, the results might be wrong.

Improper results could come from a poorly calibrated breathalyzer, or blood samples might end up contaminated in a lab. Such incidents might render the evidence questionable.

If the judge does not allow the evidence, the defendant may seek to have a case dismissed. No evidence generally means no case or no way to reach guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.