Problems with DUI Blood Tests in Pennsylvania

Over our nearly 20 years defending folks against DUI charges, we have uncovered lots of problems with DUI blood test in Pennsylvania.

When the government builds a DUI case where your own blood is the evidence against you, you should only allow a Highly Qualified, Well-Educated and Highly Experienced Lawyer-Scientist touch it.

There can be lots of problems with DUI blood test cases in PA

Most folks think that DUI blood testing evidence is much more difficult to challenge than breath testing. This is true if the DUI attorney does not know the science of blood testing. Those of us who examine DUI blood evidence every day know that the successful substantive scientific defense of DUI Blood based accusations is simple.

When selecting which attorney to hire, please consider:

  • Can you call anytime and talk to a live person?
  • Do they offer payment plans with no credit checks?
  • Will your attorney be attentive and explain what’s going on?

At The McShane Firm, we answer yes to all of these questions. We strive to provide you with a great customer service experience during this tough time.

There’s infrequently science in the forensic science part of a DUI BAC test

The truth is that the science is frequently on the side of the citizen among us who is accused of a crime. Blood testing involves an advanced understanding of:

  • analytical chemistry,
  • pharmacology, and
  • the law.

These cases should only be handled by experienced DUI attorneys. Look for those who have specialized training in fighting blood test cases. Hiring the wrong attorney will get you no where. (Learn more about possible defenses to DUI blood tests.)

Additional recommended reading: Free comprehensive guide to PA DUI Info

Put the best DUI Blood defense attorney to work for you

At The McShane Firm, we take pride in being Pennylvania’s premier DUI law firm by training, by experience, and by results. Our attorneys are:

  • highly trained in DUI blood testing and related pharmacology
  • regularly expose the limitations of these tests,
  • challenge the false conclusions offered by the government and its experts, and/or
  • the flat-out keep out wrong science that can happen with these tests.

Justin McShane on the Front Page of the Boston Globe

You are judged by numbers in the lab..but there is no excuse for (cheating). -Justin McShane

As part of their on-going investigation into the Annie Dookhan crime lab scandal, The Boston Globe interviewed Attorney Justin McShane of The McShane Firm. His quotation even made the front page of the newspaper.

Widely respected for his expertise and research in the field of forensic science, Attorney McShane also serves as the Co-Chair of the Forensic Science subdivision of the Chemistry and the law division of the American Chemical Society.

For more information about the Annie Dookhan scandal, please visit our coverage on The Truth About Forensic Science: Annie Dookhan Coverage


What is The McShane Difference?

  • We take time to understand your personal needs and goals. Then we cater our legal strategy to fit you.
  • We care about you. We listen and return phone calls. We will take time to explain things so you are not left anxious in the dark.
  • We will make this as easy as possible. We will try to minimize the number of times you have to be in court which means less disruption of your work and family life.

Does this sound like what you are looking for in an attorney? If yes, then take the next step and call (717) 657-3900.

Taking the gobbledegook out of the science

We make the science understandable. We engage the judge and the jury. As a result, they are prepared and inspired to make the right decision to return a not guilty verdict. In fact, The McShane Firm found the issue. We lead the litigation. It resulted in ending the faulty testing that was being done in Lebanon County. We exposed a major scientific flaw in all breath testing all across PA. Auditing crime labs looking for errors is what we do. We not only look in Pennsylvania but all across the United States. Lawyers from all over the world ask for our help when they have DUI blood cases.

If there is bad or non-validated science. We will find it. Problems with DUI blood test in Pennsylvania abound…. if you know how to look.

Specialized Training in DUI Blood Testing

All of our attorneys have completed rigorous blood testing training. They have the knowledge. They have the experience. Attorney McShane has lectured about DUI blood on numerous occasions in front of prestigious legal and scientific organizations such as the:

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Academy of Forensic Science
  • National Judges Association
  • National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • NCDD
  • and 31 other organizations and universities

In fact, Attorney McShane has lectured for 36 organizations in 22 states. His peers know him as one of the foremost authorities in DUI blood testing and pharmacology.




What other experts think of Justin McShane

Dr. Robert Middleburg, PhD the laboratory director of NMS labs at the 2013 American Academy of Forensic Science meeting (where the nation’s top scientists gather every year) said to the room full of scientists “Attorney McShane knows a lot about all of this. He knows more than almost all bench analysts and many experts. I commend him.” (2/18/13)

Our track record

The McShane Firm has been at the forefront in many DUI blood cases in Pennsylvania. We made a number of successful appeals that have changed the DUI prosecution landscape. All of these cases have been victories for science and justice. Here is just a few:

Big National and PA DUI Appellate cases


Lebanon Good Samaritan Hospital DUI Blood Testing scandal

This was a ruling signed by all four judges of the Court of Common Pleas in Lebanon County. It held that that the blood testing procedure used at Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) was not acceptable to the court. They pointed to testimony that The McShane Firm discovered about unauthorized deviations from the instructions set forth by the manufacturer of the equipment. In response, Lebanon County District Attorney announced that it would discontinue blood testing at GSH. Instead, he would send all blood samples to the state crime lab in Harrisburg for testing.

This ruling affected hundreds of current and past DUI cases. This was one of the problems with DUI blood test in Pennsylvania that The McShane Firm discovered over the years.

What happened

Our Clients are entitled to a Bill of Rights which states:

  • Our clients have the right to expect, we will be proactive in communication. You will hear it from us first. We will return all phone calls, texts and emails promptly.
  • Our clients have the right to expect plain speaking, straight shooting. No B. S.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to do it right the first time, every time.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to be on time and professionally prepared for all court appearances, and all meetings.
  • Our clients have the right to expect that they will be fully informed at all times.

This is our promise to you. Call today to get us on your side: (717) 657-3900.

The issue comes as a result of cost cutting measures by the hospital that lead to them using sample sizes of blood which was less than what was required by the manufacturer of the equipment. As the ruling states:

“Even if the Commonwealth were to present testimony from a lab tech in support of the notion that the size of the sample can be reduced below what is set forth in the Siemen’s operating manual, we would reject such testimony… the instruction manual for that device must be scrupulously followed… this is not a decision about which we will compromise.”

As featured on PennLive and The Patriot News:

As featured in the WLBR AM 1270


That ruling called into question the blood testing procedures for DUI in Lebanon County. The McShane Firm discovered it. We litigated it. We shut down that faulty DUI lab.

You can find out more by visiting the following:

Bullcoming v New Mexico:

Co-authored with Leonard Stamm, Esquire and Ron Moore, Esquire. This was the landmark SCOTUS case for DUI testing. Justice Ginsburg cited to the joint NCDD and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ amicus curiae brief. On June 23, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States sided with Bullcoming. The SCOTUS issued a sweeping opinion created “The Particular Witness Rule.” No longer could the government hide the scientist from the jury. The state scientist had to be present for trial.

Commonwealth v Schildt:

On December 31, 2012, in a case litigated by The McShane Firm of Harrisburg, PA, Dauphin County Judge Lawrence F. Clark ruled that the Intoxilyzer 5000EN breath machine is no longer considered reliable. This case was widely covered in the media. In response, Pennsylvania State Police decided that it will only use blood testing for DUI cases.

Commonwealth v. Karns

A judge found Karns guilty of DUI Highest Rate (BAC above .16%), It hinged its ruling based upon evidence from an enzymatic-based blood test that reported his BAC to be .189%. In a published presidential opinion, the Superior Court overturned this conviction. Karns was found not guilty of the charge. The court held that the method used by the laboratory was not forensically sound and not legally sufficient. The litigation of this case forced Bedford county authorities to switch testing methods. The McShane Firm shut down another “bad” blood testing lab that did “bad” science.


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