DUI Blood and Breathalyzer Tests

Dui Blood Tests

Under California law, the DMV requires you to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine if requested by a law enforcement officer as a prerequisite to the privilege to drive (Implied Consent Law). In other words, the issuance of a California driver’s license comes with an automatic agreement that you will submit to one of these chemical tests if requested by a police officer during a DUI investigation. If you do not voluntarily submit to one of these tests, this will be considered a “refusal” and carries with it much more serious penalties (see Refusal section), including a one-year suspension of your driver’s license, instead of the usual four-month suspension, for a first-time refusal.

More recently, if you are arrested on suspicion of "drunk driving", a police officer will primarily offer two types of tests to determine your blood alcohol content or BAC. These consist of either a blood test or a breathalyzer test. The officer should tell you that you are required to choose one of these tests and allow you to make the choice as to which test you prefer. If you refuse to choose a test, the officer may consider this a refusal and conduct a “forced blood draw”. The police officer would have to obtain an emergency search warrant in order to have your blood drawn, but this is routinely granted by the on-call duty judges. This means that the officer will be able to draw your blood forcefully, even without your consent. In this situation, you will still be prosecuted for the DUI, but you will also have the added penalties that a refusal carries (see Refusal section).

With the blood test, a licensed phlebotomist or nurse will normally be called into the station to draw your blood safely and accurately. The sample of your blood will then be sent to the Biotox laboratory where it will be tested to determine your BAC. This type of test is generally considered the most accurate measure of your blood alcohol content in that there is no issue with incorrect calibration of a machine that a breathalyzer test may have. However, there are instances where an experienced Murrieta DUI attorney may feel that a retest of your blood is necessary. This is called a blood split and allows for defense retesting of blood where the results seem abnormally high or where the BAC is so close to a .08% that retesting may cause it to come back just below the legal limit. In these situations, a skilled attorney could argue that the initial blood test is unreliable and the results should be excluded.

DUI Breathalyzer

The other test that is commonly chosen is the breathalyzer test. Breathalyzer tests are not 100% accurate, despite what the authorities may claim. Police must meet certain requirements to prove the breathalyzer machine (also known as the intoxilyzer) was working properly at the time it was administered to you, before the results are either admissible or reliable in court. There are certain variables which can affect the outcomes of the breathalyzer machines. Proper calibration and maintenance, training, and the manner in which it is administered are just a few factors that may influence the results. The person administering the breathalyzer test must be trained in administering these tests. In addition, the officer in charge of calibration of the machine must be trained in the calibration of the machine and must record its calibration in calibration logs that should be turned over to the defense upon request. Additionally, for the outcomes of such test or tests to be presumptively accurate as evidence, it must be established that all tests had been administered to the person within three hours following such person’s arrest or initial detention.

Contact a Temecula DUI Attorney today

Therefore, if your BAC is greater than .08%, do not automatically assume you have no defense. Contact an experienced Temecula DUI attorney today at Anwar Law Offices to schedule your free consultation.

Contact a Temecula Criminal Defense Attorney

Those facing charges for testing above the legal limit of 08% should obtain counsel from our Temecula criminal defense attorney, Temecula DUI Attorney at Anwar Law Offices. You can be certain that Attorney Parwana Anwar will defend your rights despite the weight of the evidence against you. Contact our experienced Temecula DUI defense lawyers today.