Every reasonable driver in Maryland -- and we certainly count our readers as members of that demographic -- pays close attention to drinking and driving.
Put another way: For the legions of us who occasionally imbibe some amount of alcohol while out socializing with family members, friends and office counterparts, driving responsibility is something taken quite seriously.
That is, very few people purposefully turn that ignition key to head home while knowing that they might be adjudged as legally drunk if stopped by a police officer.
The primary reason is that they are reasonable. And another reason is obviously that the repercussions can be, well, unpleasant.
As we note on the Maryland DUI/DWI representation page of our website at the Law Offices of Charles L. Waechter, a drunk driving charge and conviction can be "harsh."
And that is why the legal process surrounding it must be fair. It must be evenhanded, free of taint and bias, and accurate across all dimensions.
A recent DUI/DWI story from another state readily indicates that such a reality is far from always being the case across the country.
It was recently revealed pursuant to a media investigation that select laboratories in that state were inaccurately assessing the blood-alcohol levels of samples they were testing. Upon retesting, some sample results showed anomalies from the initial results that were strikingly different.
One viewpoint focuses most specifically on the fact that the BAC levels in the retested samples were higher than was initially indicated in the first round of testing.
At least one critical commentator noting the disparities focuses elsewhere, though, namely on what he terms "a problem with the integrity of the system."
It certainly seems reasonable to view the testing muck up that way. The bottom line is that laboratory error factored into a number of people being charged with a drunk driving offense.
The tale simply confirms what many other regularly recurring stories reveal, that is, that accuracy in blood/chemical testing, breathalyzer read outs, field sobriety determinations and other processes used to make government cases in DUI/DWI cases is far from being routinely infallible.