DUI cases are reliant on lab work to ensure accuracy in breath, blood and urine samples. In the event that the driver was injured in an accident, a sample will be taken at the hospital and sent to the forensics lab. The forensics analysis is critical to supporting a DUI case and errors or delays can cause problems for the prosecution. Now the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences has achieved international accreditation. The five-year process involves a number of complex steps and the agency must meet strict standards to get accreditation by the International Organization for Standardization.
Defendants who are charged with a crime must understand what they are also up against. Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, forensics departments, and other members of the criminal justice system are looking to prove a case against you. To even the playing field, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate who can challenge the evidence and protect your rights. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are experienced in handling complex DUI cases and will explore every opportunity to defeat the charges in your case.
Under the new accreditation, all employees who are hired by the ADFS must also meet the stringent standards of the organization. The test methods, procedure, and instrumentation used to produce forensic evidence must also pass rigorous standards. These elevated procedural standards could improve the accuracy of results in favor of DUI defendants and defendants whose cases rely on blood or DNA evidence.
The ADFS is the agency called upon by law enforcement agencies and district attorneys throughout Alabama. Currently, the agency has five labs and another “Implied Consent” lab that operates a statewide DUI breath-testing program. The other five labs in Montgomery, Mobile, Auburn, Huntsville, and Hoover also perform drug chemistry analysis and DNA testing. The accreditation along with a budget increase this year were necessary to improve the standing of the agency since the economic downturn started a significant backlog of cases waiting for analysis. Currently, there are more than 36,000 drug cases backlogged and every year there is a greater number of drug cases being filed. Some of the cases that are still waiting for test results were filed in 2009.
Forensic evidence in DUI cases, including breath-test results, blood tests, and urine tests are critical to proving a DUI case. Individuals who have been pulled over and charged with DUI should consult with an advocate who can review the evidence and challenge any illegally obtained test results. Proper administration of tests to ensure accuracy should also be reviewed to ensure that alleged blood alcohol results are correct.
The accreditation of the forensic labs in Alabama is good news for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. Raised procedural standards may also reduce the potential for errors, which is good news for defendants. When faced with criminal charges, remember that there are multiple state agencies working towards a conviction. An experienced advocate can review all evidence presented by those agencies to best protect your rights and interests.