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Defense attorneys challenging DUI tests

SAN FRANCISCO – Defense attorneys all around California are starting to use a new legal challenge against DUI which has led juries to free drivers from DUI charges.

A criminal defense attorney from Walnut Creek, Peter Johnson, has used the challenge and told KPIX 5, “It’s nothing something that’s a trick or something that defense attorneys might get accused of. It’s legitimate science”. Johnson also said that the current way to check BAC level is not reliable because it’s just an estimate and is not scientifically accurate. While he has not had a judge throw out the BAC results, he told that he has had jurors dismiss the charges of his clients.”They understand what was being conveyed and established it with the other jurors and established that in fact there was reasonable doubt,” he added.

Chris Boscia, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney, said he has fought against this new defense in court. According to him, “The basis of that challenge was that we weren’t doing the best science”. He added that the forensic equipment in Santa Clara County was certified to meet international standards and to obtain acceptable scientific numbers. He also said that he is worried that the new defense method will undermine DUI prosecutions because most 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,” said Boscia.

By the end of 2013, most California forensic labs are now planning to be certified to stop drunk drivers fight against their charges on the base of uncertified labs and inaccurate BAC level results. There is still no guarantee the defense will not find another method to fight that as well. “There’s always a way to challenge the evidence,” said Johnson.

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