It's ‘business as Usual' in DWI Cases Despite Forensic Scientist's Removal From Casework Over Testimony

North Texas prosecutors say the impacts on area drunken driving cases have been minimal since the revelations last fall of credibility issues with one of the state crime lab's key analysts."Everybody's been working to get it right," Collin County first assistant district attorney Bill Wirskye said Friday of the process going forward. "This has been a much more low-impact event than we thought it would be."Test results that determine the blood alcohol level in hundreds of pending driving while intoxicated cases became unusable when prosecutors lost faith in the testimony of a forensic scientist who did the testing. In October, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced that Chris Youngkin would no longer testify in court. He was essentially benched after a deposition in Collin County revealed he wasn't being straightforward in testimony about a May 2013 reporting error that he made. "The central issue in this case was not the initial error more than three years ago or the quality of work done by Chris Youngkin and at our crime labs in general," DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said by email. "This issue was technical testimony given by Youngkin in subsequent proceedings in describing that one-time error." Youngkin has been assigned to non-casework duties while the Office of Inspector General conducts a review. Youngkin's status with the department, where he has worked for nearly 20 years, will be evaluated once that review is completed, Vinger said.   Continue reading...

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