Blood and Alcohol Content In a DUI
In some DUI cases, the defendant provides a blood sample that is used to calculate BAC, or blood alcohol content. This can be done in addition to a breathalyzer test or alone, such as if the defendant arrived at a hospital unconcious. It may seem that blood evidence is concrete and difficult to argue against, but an experienced attorney can be successful at mounting a defense. Here’s how.
Challenging the Chain of Custody
The most common defense tactic for blood draw evidence in a DUI case is challenging the chain of custody. When blood draws are done for DUI cases, the chain of custody must be kept perfectly intact. Only authorized personnel can handle the blood sample and anyone who handles the blood sample must document when and how the sample was handled.
For example, the nurse or phlebotomist who drew the blood must record that they did so and when, and then they must transfer the blood sample to the lab for testing. At all times, the blood sample must be under someone’s supervision. If at any time the blood sample was unaccounted for, was handled by unauthorized personnel, or could have been tampered with in any way, your DUI attorney can use this evidence to argue that the charges should be dismissed.
Challenging the Collection Process
Errors in the blood draw process can result in skewed test results as much as half of the time. Your attorney will likely review the credentials of the nurse or phlebotomist who drew your blood and inquire as to how much training he or she has had. Often, individuals tasked to drawing blood aren’t as well trained as they should be. Inadequate training can mean that the condition of the blood in the vial may not be the same as the condition of the blood in the person’s body, which arguably renders the evidence against you invalid.
Challenging the Storage Protocol
Another common source of errors in DUI blood testing results is how the blood is stored and maintained before it is analyzed by technicians. Blood contains every component necessary for fermentation (the process by which alcohol is made) and if left at improper temperatures or stored incorrectly, the test results could come back a false high.
Contact T. Martin Knopes Today
If you were arrested for a DUI in Florida, it’s important that you have zealous and capable legal representation. Call T. Martin Knopes today for a consultation at 850-683-0700.