Revealing the Flaws in Blood Testing Procedures in Court
If you received a blood test after a DUI arrest, you can reveal the flaws in blood testing procedures in court. Building a defense may involve challenging the basis for law enforcement’s determination that you were impaired – the blood test results. Results can be thrown out for a number of reasons: flaws in giving the test, the testing method used, storing and transporting the sample, and more.
Flaws in Giving the Test
When giving a blood test, lab technicians must follow specific procedures for drawing blood and collecting the samples. Many lab techs have very little training on blood draws. If they do not obey the procedures for taking blood, your blood test results may be inadmissible. Further, the same lab tech who took the blood sample needs to testify in court. If not, you can challenge the test results or the testimony of witnesses who discuss it.
Flaws in the Testing Method
Blood tests may seem infallible, but the testing method that most labs use is not perfect. Your blood will be tested using a gas chromatograph, which can detect “false positives” for alcohol or drugs because other substances with similar chemical compositions are present. You may be able to present a defense that false positives affected your test results.
Flaws in Storing and Transporting the Blood Sample
Even more often than they make errors in the test or testing method, labs incorrectly store or transport the blood sample. Blood samples must be clearly labelled, not mingled with other people’s blood samples, and refrigerated properly. Poor storage can lead to contamination of samples. In addition, delayed testing may allow yeast and other substances to create more alcohols in the sample.
Moreover, the chain of custody is extremely important for maintaining blood samples. Each person who handles a sample must write down that the chain of custody changed. Even small errors or breaks in the chain can lead to exclusion of the evidence.
Flaws in Lab Procedures
Finally, labs often misreport or fail to report their error rates for blood testing. If you can show that the lab has high error rates or mishandling of samples that it never told the state about, you may have a case for exclusion of your blood test results. Speak to a lawyer to learn more about asserting this and other arguments for excluding evidence.
To learn more about blood testing in DUI cases, seek out the DUI attorney who follows key changes in Oklahoma law to find the best defenses for his clients. Clint Patterson, Esq., of Patterson Law Firm, a former Tulsa prosecutor now using his trial experience and expert-level knowledge of DUI science to defend drivers, has the experience and the insight to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Patterson Law Firm online or call Clint’s office at (918) 550-9175.