In any criminal case the rules of evidence apply. In order to be found
guilty the prosecutor must present admissible evidence of your guilt.
Any failure to present admissible evidence could prevent the prosecution
from proving an element of the crime. In many
DWI or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) cases, urine or blood tests are
taken and need to be admitted in order for the prosecution to prove intoxication
accroding to DWI laws in New York State.
In order for urine (blood) test to be admitted at trial, prosecutors must
present testimony from the lab technicians who preformed the tests.
People v Levy, 2008 NY Slip Op 51878(U), the prosecution presented testimony from the
police officers who handled the sample before it was mailed to an out
of state lab for testing, the lab employee who received the sample and
placed a portion of it into test tubes, and a supervisor from the lab
testified. The lab supervisor testified about the normal procedures the
lab follows when it receives and tests a urine sample, and he determined,
after reviewing the lab's 300 page litigation package that tests were
preformed on the defendant's sample.
The court concluded that the results of the DWI urine tests were NOT admissible.
The prosecution failed to present testimony regarding the chain of custody
for the test tube samples. A witness was needed with personal knowledge
about the tests preformed. The Court also refused to admit the lab's
litigation package under the business exception rule.
This summer I successfully defended a DWI blood reading of .24 in White
Plains. I was able to have the blood results suppressed on a similar basis as above.
In my case the prosecution failed to present evidence that a physician
or someone under a physician's supervision drew the blood.
The White Plains Court also refused to admit evidence of the blood sample
results under the business exception rule in that ruling that live testimony
is needed. The result was a not guilty jury verdict.