Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Error rates?

From the Lansing State Journal: "Michigan’s 79th District Court Judge Peter Wadel refused to admit blood-alcohol results in a drunken-driving case because the state crime lab does not report an error rate, or margin of error, along with blood-alcohol results.

East Lansing attorney Mike Nichols, who is handling the case in Mason County said there are no absolutes in science. Not including a range of possible results, Nichols said, ignores the uncertainties in the collection, handling, analysis, and reporting process.

Currently Washington and Michigan are the only states in which judges have made rulings challenging blood-alcohol tests, but this ruling is sure to have impacts across Michigan and the country..."

All of this begs the question, what's your error rate? How do you go about calculating an error rate for your discipline? Is this necessarily part of the validation process? More in future posts.


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