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On Why Urine Testing Methods Used in Washington, DC DUI Cases Are Unconstitutional (Part Three)

by | Dec 23, 2011

In part two of this series I discussed some of the reasons that the manner in which the prosecution of urine DUI cases in Washington, DC violates the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution.  In addition to these constitutional violations, Mr. Zarwell has also testified before the DC City Counsel about urinalysis.  As you can see from the Fox News report, “The District’s deputy chief toxicologist testified [May 2011] that the urine samples taken by police to test suspected drunk drivers are not reliable enough to accurately measure a person’s blood alcohol content.”  Mr. Zarwell will readily admit this during crossing examination, yet he and the government have no problem sending people to jail with what they seem to know is unreliable junk science.

You are probably wondering how a judge will convict a driver based on urinalysis if the test is so unreliable.  Their justification lies in the words of the statute (law) as written by the DC City Council.  According to the law, a person is “per se” intoxicated if their BAC is 0.10 or higher based upon urine testing.  If the score is 0.25 or higher, there is a mandatory minimum of five days in jail upon conviction.  If the urine score is 0.32 or higher, there is a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail upon conviction of a Washington, DC DUI charge.

While, these sound like extremely high scores, you need to remember that they have very little relation to your actual BAC and could much lower if they were done accurately.  With mandatory jail time and other consequences, it important to hire a Washington, DC DUI attorney who knows about the problems with urine testing in drunk driving cases and is willing to fight the charges at trial if necessary.  You can’t win by taking bad plea deals.  Always remember than an arrest is not a conviction.