Issues With DUI Blood Test and Chain Of Custody

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Being arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) can have serious consequences. Drivers risk losing the right to drive if convicted, so a dynamic defense is a must. Phoenix, AZ attorney James Novak is experienced in handling DUI cases.

Problems with a DUI blood test may allow us to get your charges reduced or dropped. Drivers charged with DUI should challenge the blood testing procedure and equipment, and a careful examination of the chain of custody should be part of this analysis. When breaks in the DUI blood test and chain of custody are found, the entire testing process is called into question.

Who Is Authorized to Draw Blood for DUI Testing?

If a driver is pulled over and charged with DUI, the state is required to present evidence that the driver’s blood alcohol content exceeded the maximum in order to obtain a conviction. The most common evidence produced in this regard is the result of a blood test. But certain requirements must be met in order for test results to be valid.

Most importantly, only certain personnel are permitted to draw blood. The person taking the blood must be trained, and then must perform the draw properly. A proper blood draw includes needle insertion into skin that has been wiped clean by a substance that does not contaminate the area. It is vital to ask what type of cleansing agent was used.

What Type Of Tests Are Questionable?

Several factors can have an impact on a blood test result. When developing an effective defense to DUI charges, consider the following:

  • What type of testing kit was used? It does make a difference, and you should also look at whether the kit was expired or still in date.
  • Did the lab check for contamination or the existence of other chemicals from the kit that may interfere with the test results?
  • Were proper chemicals added to cause the testing agents to interact properly?

When the test itself is questionable, the results are not reliable. Without reliable test results, the state has an uphill battle when attempting to get a DUI conviction.

Is There A Chain of Custody Issue?

Test samples are required to be clearly marked, logged, and stored. This process depends upon a tight chain of custody of the blood drawn. When breaks in the chain are identified, those breaks can be cause for invalidation of the results.

While a break in the chain of custody may not lead to the test results being inadmissible in court, arguments can certainly be made that the test results are not reliable as a result of the break. If the chain of custody is under suspicion, it can be argued that the entire process was not done properly. Chain of custody issues should be brought up as part of an aggressive DUI defense strategy.

Where to Turn for DUI Defense Help

If you have been arrested for DUI, the Law Offices of James E. Novak, P.C. can help. We focus on DUI and criminal defense, and are successful at minimizing the effect a DUI arrest can have on your life. Let us protect your rights today. Contact us online or call our office at (480) 413-1499.

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