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The Truth About Blood Tests

What you need to know about blood alcohol tests

It’s time for a bit of honesty that Wisconsin drunk driving lawmakers don’t want you to know.

Blood alcohol tests are often unreliable, yet thousands of convictions are based on them each year.

Our firm along with a team of our colleagues found a series of irregularities in blood alcohol tests done at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. We call the abnormities The Jagged Hump, and their appearance casts doubt on the reliability of blood alcohol tests. Read the full report.

If you’ve heard the old myth that drunk driving laws in Wisconsin suggest that breath testing can be challenged but blood testing can’t, you need to contact our office.

Why? Blood tests are only as reliable as the equipment and technicians involved, and there are lots of sources of error in blood tests.


Mishlove and Stuckert, Attorneys at Law have become the first law firm in Wisconsin with the ability to reprocess any blood alcohol analysis done at the Wisconsin State Hygiene Lab or any other lab that uses Perkin Elmer instruments….learn more.

Wisconsin OWI Law and Blood Tests

There are two different common procedures used to perform blood tests: enzymatic assays, and headspace gas chromatography. While hospitals typically use enzymatic assays for medical testing purposes, it doesn’t work well in court cases, so almost all Wisconsin OWI cases are based on headspace gas chromatography. Many things can go wrong with this type of test:

  1. Expired test tubes
  2. Contaminated test tubes
  3. Poor blood storage techniques
  4. Ineffective preservatives or anti-coagulants in the test tube
  5. Poor sample labeling which leads to mixed up samples
  6. Poor measurements during sample preparation
  7. Non-sterile techniques or equipment during sample preparation
  8. Poorly calibrated test equipment
  9. Poorly maintained test equipment
  10. Carryover from a previous test result
  11. Failure to repeat the test process or double-check each step
  12. Poor record-keeping and sample tracking
  13. electrical interference with the blood test equipment
  14. software bugs in the computer program that runs the blood test equipment
  15. defects in the plumbing that carries the sample through the blood test equipment
  16. defects in the carrier gas that carries the sample through the blood test equipment
  17. defects in the heaters in the blood test equipment.
  18. worn out or defective gaskets, seal and O-rings in the blood test equipment
  19. random errors

This isn’t even a complete list!

A qualified DUI lawyer will know how to look carefully at your blood test,  and review the all of lab records for both the test and the equipment involved.  That is what it takes to build the defense you deserve.

Wisconsin’s Only True OWI DUI Defense Specialist is Milwaukee’s Nationally-Acclaimed OWI DUI Lawyer.

In Wisconsin, only an attorney who is board-certified by a board that is accredited by the American Bar Association may lawfully use the word “specialist”. In 2004 the American Bar Association accredited the National College for DUI Defense (known as the NCDD) as the only organization in America that may certify specialists in this complex and evolving specialty.

The only board-certified drunk driving defense specialist in Wisconsin, Andrew Mishlove, is known and respected throughout the United States as an expert in Wisconsin OWI cases. AVVO, an independent lawyer rating service, has rated him as the top Wisconsin OWI/DUI defense lawyer and one of the top DUI attorneys in the United States.

In 2005, Andrew Mishlove achieved the distinction of becoming the first acknowledged DUI defense specialist in Wisconsin.The NCDD is an organization made up of over 1300 DUI defense lawyers nationwide. Fewer than fifty have achieved board certification. The NCDD is governed by a Board of Regents.

In 2011 Andrew Mishlove was named as one of only fifteen Regents of the NCDD. He is truly recognized as the premier OWI/DUI defense lawyer in Wisconsin and one of the leading DUI defense lawyers in America.

Free Legal Consultation

Contact us today for a free OWI DUI case evaluation. We have more than thirty years of experience helping people accused of OWI DUI. There is no obligation whatsoever.

Charged with Drunk Driving in Wisconsin and Failed Chemical Test?

Failing a chemical test does necessarily mean a sure drunk driving conviction. There are many defenses to a failed chemical test including alcohol blood tests.

Attorney Andrew Mishlove explains a few options you may have