Chelan County District Court Denies DUI Blood Testing Case for a Second Time
For a second time, Chelan County District Court shot down a case that would dismiss DUI cases that used certain blood tests.
On May 24, Chelan County District Court Judges Allen Blackmon and Jonathan Volyn denied a motion from two attorneys, John Brangwin and Jeremy Burke, who asked the court to reconsider the ruling they made back in March.
Last year, Brangwin and Burke were working on a similar case, claiming that DUI cases that had breathalyzer tests through Draeger machines were invalid, stating they were inaccurately estimating a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
In November of 2022, both Douglas County District Court and Chelan County District Court ruled to not dismiss DUI cases that used these breathalyzer results as evidence.
Then on Jan. 19, Brangwin and Burke were asking the court to suppress toxicology test reports that used Becton Dickinson (BD) Vacutainer tubes for blood collection.
Burke said that after the state legalized marijuana usage, Washington State Patrol began using blood tests instead of breathalyzers to test for inebriated driving.
Burke claims that the Washington State Patrol Toxicology Lab (WSPTL) used expired BD Vacutainer tubes when testing blood samples, which brings into question whether the sample was sterile and vacuum sealed when tested.
On March 10, Chelan County District Court ruled to not dismiss these DUI cases for the first time.
Burke claims that the court did not consider all of the evidence presented to them, which is why they filed a motion to reconsider that decision.
According to the second court decision, both argued that the court’s ruling relied heavily on Rebecca Flaherty’s testimony, and that the court based their ruling off the testimony of two WSPTL researchers.
However both judges wrote that they based their decision off of both of the researchers, along with the legal expert witness from the defense team and several articles that were submitted.
In conclusion, the court ruled that they will rule these blood tests as admissible evidence, but will determine the weight of that evidence.
“The court ultimately ruled against us,” Burke said. “We're weighing our options whether that's an appeal, or to present the issue with the additional scientific evidence that the court did not factor into it.”
If they decide to file an appeal, this case would head to Chelan County Supreme Court.