Alcohol is Created Naturally in the Vial Defense

One of the greatest defenses Amberg & Amberg attorney Jim Amberg has ever argued in the context of fighting the validity of a blood draw is to challenge what the effect on a blood test is when the various anticoagulants and preservatives are not present in the vial or when they are not properly mixed.  On one occassion, Jim recalls conducting an Oakland County jury trial in the Clarkston court where the arresting officer was adamant that nothing was in the vials, "he made sure of it."  Not knowing what had been testified to, the forensic scientist from the State Lab then testified that if the powders were not present, then alcohol could be created naturally through the process of blood decaying.  The jury was out five minutes and came back with a not guilty verdict on a high blood alcohol content superdrunk driving case.

The science behind this argument is that if the various powders are not present in the vacuum seal tubes provided in the Michigan State Lab kit which all Michigan officers use, then when alcohol decomposes in the tube, alcohol is a byproduct of that decomposition process.  This effect can happen even if the powders are in the vial if the person drawing the blood doesn't properly mix the vial once the blood is placed in the tube.

If the forensic scientist from the lab testifies that the tubes always have the powders, Jim is quick to point out that the lab doesn't test for the presence of these powders, even though they have the capability to do so.  Additionally, the State scientists have no knowledge of where the tubes come from or whether they are even manufactured in the United States.  Would you trust a Chinese blood vial when it's your freedom on the line?