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Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a survey on drug and alcohol use among Americans in 60 cities, testing random motorists. Many of those Americans are furious over the methods that were used for the testing. Many motorists will be outraged to find that they were screened for DUI before they even consented to the test.

Broadly, the methods that are used in the survey, the National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, involve police stopping motorists at roadblocks. Motorists are ordered into the roadblock area without informing them about the purpose of this, and federal contractors working for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ask them to participate in a drug and alcohol use survey. Motorists may be asked for their breath, saliva or blood samples, and maybe offered cash gifts of between $10 and $50 for body fluid samples.

The federal administration goes to great pains to insist that participation in the survey is entirely voluntary, and that drivers have the right to refuse to give samples if they don't want to participate. While drivers are not charged with DUI if those tests are found to be positive, many of them do find that these tests are intrusive, very invasive, and very often leave them feeling trapped in a roadblock.

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Earlier this year, officials found mistakes in testing at the Orange County Crime Lab that put the results of hundreds of DUI alcohol tests in jeopardy. Now comes news that even more errors have been discovered at the same lab.

The announcement of the earlier errors was made after officials found mistakes in testing that likely produced incorrect lab test results. Those incorrect results are believed to have occurred over at least 5 months. Several persons, who submitted samples for alcohol testing, and whose test results were affected by the error, have already been contacted by the district attorney's office. Prosecutors have also contacted people who were convicted for driving under the influence or pleaded guilty to DUI, as a result of those botched DUI tests. Not surprisingly, these people are extremely upset about the fact that errors in testing, resulted in convictions for them.

The new error is believed to have been discovered during an audit of the lab's operations after the earlier errors were discovered. Under crime lab procedure, a blood test sample is tested twice using two different machines. The average reading is then taken. However, this error is believed to have occurred when the lab calibrated one of the machines, and failed to input the appropriate data in the software. That meant that the results were skewed by as much as .003 percentage points.

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