If you're pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the police will sometimes have a blood test administered to measure the level of alcohol or drugs in your blood. The results can be used to help the police build a case against you.
A DUI attorney may be able to have this evidence thrown out or called into question. The following are four ways in which the blood test results may be challenged:
1. Lack of a warrant If a warrant wasn't obtained before you were subjected to a blood test, it may be possible to get the results thrown out in court.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that officers generally must get a warrant before subjecting you to a blood test.
2. Improper handling of blood sample
Blood samples need to be properly preserved and stored after they're drawn, or they could coagulate or decompose. As a result, the reading on your blood test could be erroneously high. In addition, a proper chain of custody needs to be preserved with a blood sample. In other words, the sample has to be accounted for at all times. Signed and dated records should be kept verifying exactly when the blood sample changed hands. This helps prevent the chance that evidence can be tampered with.
Additional information should also be recorded, such as the time and location that the sample was obtained. A failure to properly document data related to the sample could help your lawyer get this evidence dismissed.
3. General equipment problems Blood testing equipment can have problems that may affect their accuracy. A serious instance of this was brought to light in Scottsdale, Ariz. in 2013. Blood test results were potentially flawed in at least 11 DUI cases, with the potential of hundreds more being incorrect.
The blood testing equipment in the Scottsdale Police Department's crime lab had problems for years, and the police were aware of it, according to court documents. The issues were numerous, and a Superior Court Judge threw evidence out as a result. The equipment quit running during tests and erased baseline information from measurements during testing. Vials were also mislabeled with the wrong names or numbers.
4. Calibration errors In some cases, the machines aren't calibrated correctly. That's what happened in Orange County, Calif. in 2013. Crime lab officials acknowledged that blood-alcohol results were inaccurate in 2,000 DUi cases filed by prosecutors that year, 900 of which resulted in convictions.
As a result, some drivers' blood alcohol content was falsely boosted to over the legal limit.
A DUI charge and conviction can have serious consequences, including fines, loss of employment, and jail time. An attorney with experience in DUI cases, such as Wood Patricia K Atty, can help ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the best possible representation.
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