Challenging the Blood Test

Challenging the Blood Test

Orange County DUI Attorneys, Coffey and Coffey explain how a blood test can be challenged in court.

Blood tests for BAC are most often used in accidents where injuries have occurred. The blood test should be performed at the hospital by a trained EMT. Blood test regulations vary from state to state, therefore issues arising from improperly handled blood tests will vary as well. The experienced DUI attorneys at Coffey and Coffey know that a blood test can be challenged.

Types of blood tests

Most commonly, a blood test for BAC will be performed on a whole blood sample. This can vary, though if the sample is taken at a hospital. Hospitals often use medical samples which test the blood serum rather than whole blood. Still in other cases, the blood sample is precipitated and then centrifuged to produce what is called “supernatant” to be analyzed. With these three different forms of testing, one can begin to see where discrepancies could arise.

Challenging blood tests

In a study entitled Distribution of Ethanol: Plasma to Whole Blood Ratios, Hodgson and Shajani, 18 Forensic Science journal 73 (1985), scientists set out to determine if there was a difference in outcomes of BAC among the three major types of blood tests. Their findings indicated that the serum test used by most hospitals showed BAC levels 11% higher than that of whole blood samples. The “supernatant” samples were 5% higher than whole blood. If you are facing a driving while intoxicated from a blood test, seek out a Orange County driving while intoxicated attorney that understands these types of blood test discrepancies.

When you hire the attorneys of Coffey and Coffey, we look at how your blood test was administered. Was the test performed by a qualified EMT? Did the EMT use alcohol to prep the area where blood was taken? Alcohol can affect the test results and therefore be grounds for suppressing the blood test results. Our DUI attorneys will also look at the chain of custody of the blood sample and determine if it was handled properly thereby assuring the sample was not possibly contaminated.

One other way that the test can be challenged is through the testimony of the expert who analyzed the sample. Standard methods of analysis must be followed carefully to ensure the results of the test are accurate. Without an expert to testify as the accuracy of the testing method and the proper administration of the testing method, the tests results may be inadmissible.

Get the help you need

If you are facing an intoxication conviction, seek help immediately. A DUI conviction can drastically alter your current standard of living. There is much that can be done to fight a DUI charge . Find an experienced DUI defense lawyer who is able to aggressively fight for you. It is important to hire a lawyer experienced defending DUI cases in Orange County. A DUI conviction can lead to license suspension, a criminal record, probation, hefty fines, increased insurance costs, and jail time. If you are facing a DUI charge in Orange County call our office for a free consultation at (800) 706-7888.