On February 10, 2022, Seattle Municipal Court judges issued a ruling that suppresses BAC results due to methamphetamine contamination at the Washington State Patrol forensic toxicology lab. What is important to note, however, is that the suppression ruling only impacts very specific cases, namely those involving actual methamphetamine. Other cases, were not impacted by the court’s ruling, i.e. alcohol based BAC’s. Those BAC’s are still permitted to be admitted into evidence for purposes of proving that a driver was under the influence while operating or being in physical control of a motor vehicle within 2 hours of driving.
The defendant’s at issue wanted their cases dismissed. However, the judges elected to suppress the BAC evidence involved, finding that dismissal was too extreme a remedy. Some of the cases at issue also had other drugs in their system. The panel of judges found that those results could be admitted. The only thing impacted was methamphetamine, nothing else. This was to eliminate any issues with false positive test results for methamphetamine. The judges ruled that the suppression of these BAC’s were appropriate because: (1) the lab committed governmental misconduct by continuing to conduct forensic testing on blood samples when methamphetamine contamination continued to be present in the lab; (2) the lab committed mismanagement by failing to timely disclose the contamination to prosecutors and defense attorneys, and (3) the lab failed to confirm positive test results for methamphetamine by sending second, unopened vials of blood to private labs for testing.
Because there was no other evidence that established that blood tested for alcohol or other drugs were unreliable, those test results were not impacted and hence not suppressed. They can be used in the prosecutor’s case in chief to prove DUI and Phyiscal Control. In short, don’t get too excited if you were processed for DUI in 2019 and 2020. The court’s ruling is very limited. It applies to methamphetamine cases only, not other alcohol and/or drug related matters.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a DUI, immediately contact a Seattle DUI Attorney. A Seattle DUI lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle DUI Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. A DUI can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with DUI in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle DUI Lawyer. The Seattle DUI attorney team at SQ Attorneys is here to help (425) 359-3791.