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Blood Tests in DUI Cases

Santa Clarita DUI Lawyer Providing Aggressive Defense

After being arrested for DUI, one of the tests you might be asked to take is a blood test. A blood test is a type of chemical test that is used to check for the presence of certain substances in a person's system (particularly in individuals suspected of impaired driving). When blood test results show that drugs or alcohol were present in a person's system while he or she were driving, these results will generally be used as evidence against that individual in court. While such results might appear to be solid proof at first glance, it is important for those accused of DUI to be aware that there are many ways to challenge this type of evidence.

By consulting with an experienced Santa Clarita criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of David M. Wallin, you can build and execute a strong defense plan against any DUI charges you received in the Santa Clarita area. Our law firm has provided some important information to help you better understand how blood tests are used in DUI cases, as well as how these results can potentially be refuted.

How Blood Tests Are Used in DUI Cases

A blood test can be administered either before or after a DUI arrest. In alcohol-related cases, these tests are often used as an additional way to confirm the results of a breath test. Both breath and blood tests are used to show a person's blood alcohol concentration (or BAC). In most cases, the legal BAC limit is 0.08%. (It can be lower for certain types of drivers.) This means that anyone who has that concentration or higher is considered to have been driving under the influence of alcohol.

Unlike with alcohol, there is no legal impairment threshold established in California for drugs. This is something that is difficult for states to set since there are so many different types of drugs, which have a broad spectrum of chemical compositions and effects. For that reason, blood tests are used in drug-related DUI cases to determine whether a drug was present in a person's system, rather than whether there was a certain amount of the drug. Drivers in California should know that refusing to take a blood test after arrest can lead to an automatic one-year driver's license suspension (which is a lengthier suspension period) along with other enhanced DUI penalties.

How can blood test results be challenged?

There are many things that can make a blood test inaccurate. Some of these include mistakes made by the professional who administered the test or by the lab technician who processed the blood sample. Some of the mistakes that could be made include use of the wrong testing or processing equipment, improper sterilization of the tested area (particularly with products that could throw off the results), contamination of the blood sample and improper storage of the sample. These are just a few of the many defenses that could be used to question the accuracy of blood test results.

In drug-related DUI, there is an even stronger opportunity to challenge blood test results. This because of the fact that the law does not define how much of a drug is needed to consider a person impaired. This forces prosecutors to rely more heavily on other forms of evidence in order to prove that the person was actually impaired by the drug that showed up in the blood test. These other forms of evidence can be field sobriety tests and testimony by Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), which can also be challenged by a skilled attorney.

How We Can Protect Your Rights

Every individual has a right to a fair trial and chance to defend his or her freedom and reputation. When you work with the Law Offices of David M. Wallin, we work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are being protected and that you are receiving the aggressive legal representation you need. We conduct thorough reviews of our clients' cases to help them determine whether there are any holes in the allegations being made against them. Our team helps individuals fight for more favorable outcomes, including "not guilty" verdicts, dropped charged, reduced charges and other outcomes.

Contact us to learn more about our legal services!

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