Faulty Blood-Alcohol Test Affects Some Orange County Drivers

A test at the Orange County Crime Lab gave faulty blood-alcohol reports between May and October

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A crime lab mistake in Orange County may have led to hundreds of faulty DUI tests. Now comes the task of figuring out how many drivers may have been convicted using the tests. Vikki Vargas reports from Fullerton for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2013.

    A small number of drivers who tested above the legal drinking limit may get a reprieve after a faulty test in the Orange County Crime Lab led to incorrect blood-alcohol reports over a four-month period.

    About 20 people who registered above the 0.08% limit because of a calibration error during testing may see that number drop below the legal limit, said Bruce Houlihan, Director of the Orange County Crime Lab.

    Still, officials said the number of people affected by the testing error would be low.

    “In the vast majority of these cases, there will be no impact,” said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

    Between May 29 and October 9, about 2,200 criminal DUI cases were filed, and of those, about 900 cases have been resolved, Emami said.

    Those 900 people received a letter saying calibration errors in the testing equipment led to reports of blood-alcohol content 0.01% higher than accurate.

    Blood samples were recalculated and officials said the corrected results would be posted to the Orange County Crime Lab’s website by December 1.

    The other 1,300 cases are still open, and those people will be provided with updated, accurate test results before their cases are resolved.

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