Blood test in a DUI Case

The Blood test in a DUI case is the least used in a DC DUI case.   The most commonly used method to measure blood alcohol content is the breathalyzer. However, there are circumstances in which the police may use other methods such as blood or urine test. For example, the suspected drunk driver is unable to provide a breath sample. Under D.C. laws, only doctors or nurses can draw blood sample at the request of the police officer with the consent of the driver. There are also strict protocols that the police must follow in ensuring the sample obtained is not contaminated which could alter the results.

It is generally believe that if you take a blood test in a DUI investigation the results of an analysis of the blood are highly accurate and not subject to contest. Nothing could be further from the truth. The law requires that the integrity of the blood sample be maintained from collection to analysis to reporting. Science recognizes that the integrity of the blood specimen can be adversely affected from the point of collection through reporting of the result.

Drawing of the blood is a sensitive medical procedure. The manner in which the blood is collected, or drawn can affect the integrity of the blood specimen. How the blood is stored and maintained is equally important in maintaing the integrity of the results. Blood is an organic substance. Over time, it will decompose. As it decomposes, alcohol is created in the blood. In a blood sample which originally contains no alcohol, decomposition and resulting fermentation can cause a reading far above the legal limit, depending upon the stage of decay. To stop or at least slow down this process, a preservative is added to the sample; it should also be refrigerated until analyzed by the crime lab. Failure to follow proper procedure and void the samples.

For more information about accuracy of breath, blood or urine tests ina DUI case, please contact our law office. We offer FREE CONSULTATION. We are experienced DUI attorneys who can help you develop factual and legal defenses to the DUI/OWI charges and place the burden on the prosecutors to prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. Call us at (202) 455-5610.

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Ada Chan