Audit Finds Flaws in One-Third of Positive Cocaine Tests by IN Lab


An independent audit of positive cocaine test results issued by the Indiana Department of Toxicology found that 32 percent — nearly one in three — were not conducted in accordance with acceptable scientific standards, according to a report cited by the Indianapolis Star. The latest bad news from the lab, which has been operated by the Indiana University School of Medicine since 1957, follows audit results released in April that showed a 10 percent error rate among positive marijuana tests conducted over the same period.

“I wouldn’t have been surprised by a 10 percent error rate, but one in three borders on criminal negligence,” Indianapolis defense attorney John Tompkins said. The cocaine audit report comes as state officials prepare to pull the lab from IU. The General Assembly approved legislation this year to make the lab a standalone state agency in the wake of growing concerns raised by police and prosecutors about the lab’s performance, including the timeliness and accuracy of test results.

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