Orange County Crime Lab Announces Error that Affects Blood-Alcohol-Test Results in 2,200 Cases

In the real world, crime labs make mistakes, even in Orange County. Earlier this month came word that the Orange County Crime Lab had produced inaccurate blood-alcohol-test results in 2,200 driving-under-the-influence (DUI) cases that were filed this year. In recent days, the District Attorney’s office has issued letters to people whose cases may have been affected, including 900 people whose cases have already resulted in convictions.

The Orange County Crime Lab discovered the error on October 10, during one of its internal audits. Apparently, back in May, a technician mistakenly calibrated one of two machines that are used to test blood samples (the results of which are then averaged). Since then, that machine has skewed blood-alcohol results in hundreds of DUI cases, though officials insist that the error is only capable of affecting the outcome in about 200 cases or fewer.

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