Most people believe that analysis of blood offers the most reliable way of determining the blood alcohol concentration for someone facing a DUI. However, while this certainly makes sense, the actual collection of the blood sample, as well as its preservation and analysis methods, can have a direct impact on the test’s accuracy. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to explain DUI blood alcohol levels and how these factors can affect your case.
Once a sobriety test has been given, and the individual has been arrested and charged with DUI, the officer involved should advise them that they have a right to choose between a breath test and a blood alcohol test. While it is common that police officers try to encourage individuals to choose the breath test rather than blood testing, you have a right to request a blood draw; unless, of course, there is no way blood can safely be drawn without facing a significant delay. This is something you should discuss with your Atlanta DUI attorney as it involves important evidence.
After being arrested for DUI, the subject is typically transported to a police station, a local hospital, medical clinic or jail facility for their blood to be drawn. In Georgia, the law requires that the person doing the blood draw have appropriate training and be certified, like a nurse or phlebotomist. The blood must be drawn using a method that is medically approved and it must be witnessed by the officer. After the blood has been drawn, the sample will either be retained in the custody of the facility where the blood was drawn or it can be released to the arresting police officer for placement in an evidence locker or under refrigeration awaiting crime lab intervention who will collect the evidence. An experienced attorney will ensure the right processes were followed.
Once blood leaves the human body, it begins to immediately degrade. In an attempt to slow down this process of degradation in the blood evidence, there is a pre-determined amount of preservative or anti-coagulant placed in the evidence test tubes. It is important that the technician conducting the blood draw shake the tube vigorously in order to mix the preservative with the blood sample; otherwise, the blood sample might start to degrade, ferment or clot, making it impossible to conduct a reliable analysis of the sample.
When the crime lab receives the blood, a small amount is extracted from the vial. Two separate tests are performed on the blood and the final results are averaged to determine the final concentration of blood alcohol. Your attorney will use this information to determine the best way to proceed with your case.
Been Arrested For DUI?
At the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, our DUI team are experts in evaluating all phases of blood testing. We have the training and experience to review not only the method used to draw the blood, but also the method used in maintaining and testing the sample. When you need an experienced attorney, you can count on us to provide the best defense.