On February 1st, 2011, the Minnesota Court of Appeals realeased an unpublished ruling in State of Minnesota vs. Boeder with regard to the admissibility of urine testing in criminal DWI cases. If you’ve read our blog over the last several months, you’ve discovered there have been several rulings from the Minnesota Court of Appeals with regard to urine testing in DWI cases. Unfortunately, to those drivers that have been attacking the reliability of urine testing in DWI cases, these decisions have not been favorable.
In Boeder, the Court ruled that the defendant was not entitled to a Frye-Mack hearing prior to trial to determine whether his urine test, or urine testing in general, is a reliable method for establishing an individuals alcohol concentration.
In summary, the Court once again, citing an earlier decision, reiterated their earlier position that urine testing in DWI cases is not “novel”, but a “generally accepted technique within the relevant scientific community for measuring the alcohol concentration of a first-void urine sample.” Therefore, the Court found urine testing to be a reliable method for testing alcohol concentration so a seperate hearing to further determine it’s reliability was not required.
The Court also rejected the defendant’s request to present expert testimony at trial attacking the reliability of “first-void urine testing”. This concept was explained in one of our earlier blogs.
It’s hard to ignore the scientific evidence out there supporting the unreliability of urine testing to determine a driver’s alcohol concentration in DWI cases. Especially, in light of the scientific theory of “first-void urine”. However, the Minnesota Court of Appeals seems to have taken a steady position, with these recent rulings, that urine still is an acceptable method for testing.