Friday, May 14, 2010

Sloppy lab work leads to Toxicology Chief resigning in Indiana

The state seal of IndianaImage via Wikipedia

Two weeks ago we discussed how lab errors in California, Colorado and Pennsylvania resulted in challenges to DUI convictions and the dismissal of a multitude of DUI cases. It looks like Indiana is joining the club. According to this article from, the director of the Indiana State Department of Toxicology, Michael A. Wagner, has resigned amidst charges of inexcusable lab errors. Allegations include sloppy lab work, excessively long delays in processing specimens, and the failure to perform inspections as required by state law. In the article, Indianapolis defense attorney John L. Tompkins explained the basis for the allegations:
Tompkins, who teaches blood-testing issues to lawyers for their continuing education requirements, said sloppy work is not unusual from the state Department of Toxicology.

Within the past few months, he said, blood-testing reports have come back showing clotted blood being used -- a mistake -- and incomplete documentation of the testing machine's calibration.

Tompkins also contends that the department ignores a state law enacted in 2007...(which) requires the Department of Toxicology to conduct examinations of the people performing blood-alcohol detection tests and inspections of the equipment they use.

If the allegations are true, the resignation of Wagner is only the first step toward achieving justice for those who have been wrongfully convicted of DUI in Indiana. Simply put, the accusations of sloppy lab work are inexcusable. Where the life and liberty of a person accused of a crime is at stake, it is imperative that lab test results be performed carefully, accurately and in a timely manner. Visit Americas Top DUI and DWI Attorneys at or call 1-800-DIAL-DUI to find a DUI OUI DWI Attorney Lawyer Now!
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