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California DUI defense attorneys challenging DUI tests

SAN FRANCISCO – All over California, defense attorneys are starting to use a new legal challenge against drunk driving which has forced juries to dismiss the DUI charges of motorists.

The challenge is used by a criminal defense attorney from Walnut Creek, Peter Johnson. He told KPIX 5, “It’s nothing something that’s a trick or something that defense attorneys might get accused of. It’s legitimate science”. According to him, the method with which BAC level is tested is outdated, it only gives an idea and it is not reliable. He has not had a judge throw out the BAC level results of drivers charged with DUI, but he said that he has had jurors who dismissed the DUI charges of his clients. He also said, “They understand what was being conveyed and established it with other jurors and established that in fact there was reasonable doubt”.

Chris Boscia, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney said that he faced this new challenge in court. “The basis of that challenge was that we weren’t doing the best science,” said Boscia. He said the forensic equipment in Santa Clara County was certified to meet international standards for getting acceptable scientific numbers. He also said that the new defense method will undermine driving while intoxicated prosecutions due to the reason that California county labs are not yet certified. “What could happen is that people who are truly driving under the influence could get off, based on this tactic,” he added.

To stop drunk drivers from using this defense technique in court, most California forensic labs are now planning to be certified by the end of 2013.

Johnson said that there is still no guarantee the defense won’t find another method to fight the DUI charges. “There’s always a way to challenge the evidence”.

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