Orange County Sheriff’s Department
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Lt. Jeff Hallock, (714) 904-7042/Gail Krause, (714) 647-1840
OC Crime Lab Discovers Errors in Blood-Alcohol Tests
SANTA ANA, CA – (November 21, 2013) – Earlier this month, the Orange County Crime Lab (OCCL) discovered a clerical error in calibrating one of two machines used to analyze blood alcohol concentration. The error affects cases from the end of May 2013 to the beginning of October 2013.
Following the discovery, the OCCL conducted a full audit of the last five years of DUI alcohol casework. In the course of that audit, the OCCL discovered a .001 error from the calibration of the other blood alcohol instrument between December 2012 and May 2013. One hundred blood samples processed between these two dates will be corrected by .01.
The OCCL is working with its accrediting organization to document all corrective actions taken and the procedural changes detecting all calibrator variations. Additionally, the OCCL is cooperating fully with Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and the Orange County Board of Supervisors to request an audit by the California Department of Health to confirm all procedural and casework standards. Once this external audit is completed, the findings will be presented to the Board of Supervisors and the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
“The Orange County Crime Lab is among the largest crime labs in the nation and is nationally- and internationally-recognized for its cutting edge technology and accomplishments,” stated Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. “I am confident that our Crime Lab is taking the necessary steps to ensure that these clerical errors do not occur in the future and will continue to provide credible results and exemplary service to the citizens of Orange County.”