Some Oklahoma drivers may be tested for DUI using expired blood test kits. One attorney says this could lead to innocent people being convicted of drunk driving.
According to the attorney, the problem is not with the chemicals in the test or with the tube, but the rubber seal is subject to deterioration. This may cause a different amount of blood to be drawn and could cause a problem with the ratio between blood and chemicals in the tube. The attorney said that a higher amount of salt might cause the test to show a higher blood alcohol content than the person actually has.
However, the director for the Oklahoma Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence said this should not make a difference. Although he agreed that a damaged rubber seal would result in a partial vacuum and a smaller blood sample, he also said that this would not affect the sample's accuracy. However, he said that police should get new kits so that it does not become an issue in a trial. The attorney says that using kits that are not expired should be required.
A test on an expired kit is one of example of a defense an individual might use if facing charges for drunk driving. An individual might be guilty of reckless driving, and an officer might also suspect that person of being drunk. However, both blood and breath tests might be inaccurate and can be challenged. Individuals who are charged with DUI may want to speak with an attorney about the charges and other possible avenues of defense as well including questioning the reason for the traffic stop.
Source: KFOR, "'We're putting people in prison based on expired technology,' Oklahoma attorney on expired blood tests," Andrew Donley, March 23, 2015