Last week, on March 22 and 23, 2017, the National College for DUI Defense and Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association successfully concluded their jointly sponsored annual Mastering Scientific Evidence seminar in New Orleans.
Speakers included Robert Hirschhorn on Winning Voir Dire in Breath, Blood & Accident Cases, Amber Spurlock on Mining for Gold in Blood Discovery: Obtaining What You Need & Using It To Win, Donald Bartell on Successfully Defeating Hospital Blood Test Cases, Dean Jim Nesci on The Cure for Bad Breath 3.0, Alan Wayne Jones, BSc, PhD, DSc on Over 40 years and 400 Published Articles in Alcohol Research: Pushing Science to the Limits, Robert J. Belloto Jr., R.Ph., M.S.2, Ph.D. on Prescription Medication & Alcohol: Interaction and Metabolism – Determining Therapeutic v. Non-therapeutic Levels, Alfred E. Staubus, Pharm.D., Ph.D. on Breath Testing: Reported Measurement of Uncertainty for Various Evidential Breath Testing Machines and Aspects of the Biological Variability, Donald J. Ramsell on Method Validation And Admissibility Of Forensic Alcohol And Drug Tests, Andrew Mishlove on Blood Testing for Drugs: Methodology of How It’s Done & Success Challenges, Dr. Jimmie L. Valentine on Exposing False Positives in Drug Testing, Terry A. Wapner on Affecting the Breath Test Results – LPR vs. GERD, and Steven W. Rickard on Winning with Speed, Distance & Time.
Among the speakers listed above was A.W. Jones, the leading expert in the world on blood and breath testing with over 400 published articles, who answered questions from Leonard R. Stamm regarding calibration of breath test equipment and calculating uncertainty. With respect to calibration, Dr. Jones opined that where a state has different levels of culpability carrying different punishments, such as Maryland, where the Motor Vehicle Administration suspends driver licenses for test result of 0.08 or above but less than 0.15 and for a test result of 0.15 and above, that the state should calibrate its breath testing equipment at both levels. This is important because Maryland only calibrates its breath test equipment at 0.08. Dr. Jones also stated that there is currently no accepted protocol for determining uncertainty. Dr. Jones preferred method for eliminating uncertainty is to take the mean of two measurements and deduct 15% of the mean to attain a certainty of 99.9%.