DUI DEFENSE: ATTACKING THE BLOOD TEST

November 23, 2015

BLOOD TEST

After a DUI arrest in Los Angeles, DUI investigating officers (LAPD, CHP, the Sheriffs or local police agency officers), are required to tell the arrested driver that he has to take a blood test or a breath test.  The purpose of the test is to measure the alcohol in the bloodstream of the arrested driver.  If it is a breath test, you can see the results right away.  If it is a blood test, the results will not be available for several weeks.  The blood test is considered to be more accurate than the breath test, and because the blood is kept by the police, Los Angeles drunk driving attorneys can retests the collected blood later.  The breath sample used to test alcohol level is not kept by the police, therefore, Los Angeles DUI attorneys are unable to verify the breath alcohol results later.

Both blood and breath tests can be inaccurate and often can be successfully attacked by our skilled drunk driving attorney Los Angeles.  For example:

  • Breath alcohol measuring machines are known for a big margin of error and an inability to determine the actual blood alcohol results because they are incorrectly converting the blood alcohol levels into the breath alcohol levels without properly accounting for the individual variances among different people.
  • Blood tests can also be fought by DUI lawyers in many different ways.  For example, Los Angeles DUI attorneys can show the judge that the blood was not kept in a good way.  For example, the police did not store the blood at the correct temperature or using correct preservation materials.

For example,  all blood samples are collected into special blood tubes.  The blood tubes are ordered from a factory where they are prepared so that no bacterial will end up on the tube and that there would be enough chemicals to keep the blood from changing.  But sometimes a factory that makes the blood tubes forget to put correct chemicals into the tube.  When that happens, tubes can not be used the blood tests are defective.  This is exactly what happened in the summer of 2019 when Becton Dickinson mailed many defective tubes to police agencies all over the country.  The only way to check if the tubes are defective is to see what color is the tube (gray caps were defective) and to check the lot (8187663).  This is just one of the ways Los Angeles DUI attorney can get a dismissal of your case.  If your blood was taken during a DUI case, the only way to check if the blood tube was defective is to get a photograph of the blood tube.

Yet, another method to attack the blood tests that are used to prosecute drivers accused of DUI’s in Los Angeles is to focus on the methods used to test blood samples.  Most government crime labs use a technique called “gas chromatography” to determine how much alcohol is present in the blood sample.  The device that measures the presence of alcohol in the blood is called “chromatograph” and can be either a “single column” gas chromatograph or a “double column” gas chromatograph”.  The American Academy of Forensic Sciences specifically says that a double-column gas chromatograph is necessary to confirm the presence of alcohol (ethanol).  A single column test is not an acceptable method of alcohol measurement and can only be used as a “screening test”.  Second column testing uses a different method of confirming that alcohol is present and it confirms that only alcohol is present in blood and not some other substance with similar “markers”.  Despite the American Academy of Forensic Sciences statement, most crime labs continue to use “single column” blood testing, a whole inadequate method for a scientific conclusion necessary to prosecute the crimes of drunk driving.  Los Angeles DUI lawyers can also get your case dismissed if the police lab was using a “single column” test.

If you or your loved one is arrested for a DUI or DWI in Los Angeles, contact our office for a free consultation.  Los Angeles DUI attorneys are known for their extensive expertise in the area of DUI defense.  We are also well familiar with the judges and prosecutors in the Los Angeles Superior Courts and can negotiate deals many other attorneys cannot.  We offer competitive prices, accept most credit cards, and offer great payment plans.  Call our office anytime to talk to an experienced DUI defense attorney.

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