Use of Negative Urinalysis Results
- Negative test results are generally not admissible. United States v. Johnston, 41 M.J. 13 (C.M.A. 1994). The military judge did not abuse his discretion by excluding defense evidence of a urinalysis test which was negative for the presence of marijuana three days after the last charged use of marijuana.
Admission of test results would have been too confusing.
- The defense may use negative test results only if relevant to the charged use. United States v. Baker, No. 28887, 1993 WL 502185 (A.F.C.M.R. Nov. 30, 1993) (unpublished). The military judge properly excluded evidence that the accused gave a urine sample which tested negative for use of illegal drugs where the sample was given over a month outside the charged period. The defense
failed to show the relevance of the negative test.
- After United States v. Campbell, 50 M.J. 154 (C.A.A.F. 1999), supplemented on
reconsideration, 52 M.J. 386 (C.A.A.F. 2000), the best defense may be a good offense.
Raising the bar for the government has opened the door for defense to be successful in
attacking the government’s case primarily on the second prong of Campbell. But see
United States v. Green, 55 M.J. 76 (C.A.A.F. 2001) (stating that the three-prong standard
in Campbell is not mandatory).
- See generally Captain Joseph J. Impallaria, An Outline Approach to Defending Urinalysis
Cases, Army Law., May 1988, at 27, and Major R. Peter Masterton and Captain James R.
Sturdivant, Urinalysis Administrative Separation Boards in Reserve Components, Army
Law., Apr. 1995, at 3.