Roswell Alpharetta: Challenging Blood Tests

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A positive blood test result in your DUI case does not mean you will be found guilty. In the Roswell-Alpharetta area, DUI suspects who have received a positive blood test result should know that this result can be successfully challenged, and has been countless times. No matter how experienced or skillful the officer or lab technician are, there is always a chance that human error occurred, or the standard procedures were improperly followed. A Roswell Alpharetta DUI attorney can investigate your case and challenge the validity of your blood test results. You are by no means helpless because of the result of your blood tests; it is still possible to challenge your Roswell Alpharetta blood test result in court.

The Rights of DUI Suspects in Roswell-Alpharetta

In order for blood test results to be admissible in court, law enforcement must have strictly adhered to protocol in the events leading up the blood draw. In order to pull over a DUI suspect, the officer must first observe signs of intoxication in the suspect's driving. If the driver is arrested, they will be taken to the station and obliged to give a sample of urine, blood or breath. At the time of arrest, the suspect is read an implied consent card which explains the provision of 'implied consent' in the state of Georgia. It reads:

Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs...After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing.

Please note that refusal to submit to these tests will result in a one year driver's license suspension. If you have been arrested for DUI in Roswell Alpharetta and believe you will lose your license because you refused to submit to state testing, contact a Roswell Alpharetta DUI attorney immediately to appeal your license suspension. You only have 30 days to appeal before the suspension cannot be challenged at all.

As stated in the implied consent card excerpt, anyone who gives the required sample of blood, breath or urine may request additional testing by independent, qualified personnel. This is their right and law enforcement must accommodate them if they choose to invoke this right. Therefore, they must transport the suspect to a hospital or other qualified clinic to get the requested testing done. If the police fail on this count, there is a chance that the state's blood test evidence against the suspect will be thrown out, for failure to adhere to protocol.

Challenging DUI Blood Tests in Roswell Alpharetta

Despite being shrouded in a sort of scientific mystique, blood work analysis is anything but perfect; there is ample opportunity for mistakes and the results are not always correct. There are a number of legal avenues to dispute blood work results. Some people, suspects and attorneys included, incorrectly believe that the numbers cannot lie. However, a blood test result above .08 does not definitively mean the suspect was intoxicated. The suspect's Roswell Alpharetta DUI attorney can still make a case that the result is faulty by probing several parts of the process, thereby finding vulnerabilities in the blood test evidence.

The Blood Test Process

A trained professional must draw the blood in a sanitary environment using sterilized equipment. He or she must collect the correct sample size of blood. If the professional errs even within a margin of one tenth, the entire result may be thrown out. A contaminated sample also cannot be trusted to provide a valid result, so if the sample is at any point contaminated (perhaps from un-sterilized equipment or contact with another object or substance) the result may not be admissible.

Another way a DUI attorney can raise questions about possible contamination is by probing the sample's chain of custody. Law enforcement must log and keep track of where the sample goes as it changes hands between various entities. If this chain of custody is broken, and there is any period of time in which law enforcement is uncertain as to the custody and whereabouts of the sample, the blood work result could be thrown out. If the sample was not transported right away or was improperly stored, any alcohol that was present in the sample could have fermented, artificially inflating the blood alcohol content reading.

When the sample is actually tested, it is not the blood itself which is tested - contrary to popular belief. Just like a breath sample, ultimately it is a gaseous sample that is analyzed. Without diving into the entire process: the blood is placed in a closed vial and heated, any alcohol present in the blood becomes gas. This gas is burned and the reaction it produces is measured by a device called a chromatograph. Lab techs must properly calibrate all equipment in order to produce a reliable result. Human error can always occur in the lab and in the field on the part of law enforcement; no one should have their DUI case bogged down by blood tests if there is a chance the result is unreliable or faulty.

Roswell Alpharetta DUI Defense Lawyer

No matter the circumstances of your case, if you have been charged with driving under the influence, a Roswell Alpharetta DUI attorney can help. A DUI charge is a frightening experience and Richard Lawson understands just how much is on the line, especially when the police have blood test evidence against you. The critical next step is contacting a DUI lawyer so he can review your case, devise a defense strategy and protect your rights. It is important that you act quickly; time is of the essence in every DUI case. Do not hesitate to contact a Roswell Alpharetta DUI attorney immediately.

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