Lab Errors Impact Hundreds of Minnesota DWI Cases

The Regional Forensic Laboratory serving Anoka, Sherburne and Wright counties has admitted to errors in calculating blood alcohol content in suspected Minnesota drunk drivers. Urine tests since the beginning of the year showed BAC levels about one-third higher than they actually were. As a consequence, many drivers charged with driving while intoxicated in Minnesota were not legally impaired.

The DWI cases of hundreds of motorists could be impacted. Many have already been to court and accepted an agreement to plead guilty, and others have been incarcerated on the false test results.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reviewed the lab processes and determined the incorrect BAC readings were due to a calculation error on the part of the lab technicians. A county prosecuting attorney said that, “People make mistakes”, and felt the lab had addressed the incident with professionalism.

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