Can DUI blood test results be challenged?
The blood test in a DUI case is usually a major part of the prosecution’s case. If properly collected, and measured, it shows that the blood contained specific amounts of alcohol or drugs (medications or illegal narcotics). Can DUI blood test results be challenged? Well, this posting discusses the major ways that a blood test can be challenged.
You should also see our more in depth page on all the defenses to blood tests in a DUI case.
DUI blood test results can be challenged based upon improper calibration. Calibration is required of any measuring device, to make sure accuracy is maintained, and if the blood test result was done on improperly calibrated equipment, the test results are meaningless.
Improper Chain of Custody.
DUI blood test results can also be challenged based upon an improper chain of custody. Chain of custody records are kept to make sure that there is not the probability or possibility of contamination, or of improper handling, or tampering, and is a crucial part of the case.
Failure to Draw Blood With a Licensed Phlebotomist.
DUI blood tests may also be invalid if the person drawing the blood was not licensed to do so, as that is a requirement. In addition to being a California licensed phlebotomist, the person drawing the blood must follow medically accepted procedures for blood draw, and for alcohol cases, must not swab the arm with alcohol, and must instead use betadyne, iodine, or hydrogen peroxide, to avoid contamination from introducing outside alcohol in an alcohol case test.
Improper Blood Storage.
Under the procedures contained in the Administrative Code Title 17, any blood drawn must be kept refrigerated, and the sample integrity must not be compromised. Since bacterial contamination can ferment the blood at a higher rate during higher temperatures (or at room temperature), contamination issues are much higher if the blood is not refrigerated as required by law.
If you have any questions for us about challenging the blood test results in your DUI case, or in the DUI case of a loved one, contact our firm, or call us, anytime. We are happy to help.