Being accused of drunk driving already results in automatic administrative consequences, including suspension of your driver’s license. However, a drunk driving conviction has consequences that can threaten your freedom and significantly impact your future. Criminal and administrative penalties for driving under the influence depend on your past criminal history, driving record, and the circumstances of the drunk driving arrest. You could face heavy fines and substantial jail time.
If you or a loved one were arrested for DUI, it is important to understand your defense options. One potential DUI defense strategy is to question the veracity of the blood alcohol test results. Various problems can interfere with the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing process. If a blood test is not verifiable, it may be difficult to impossible for the prosecution to secure a conviction.
There are two main ways of testing a person’s intoxication level. The first is to use a breath testing device commonly called a breathalyzer. The second is to directly test the person’s blood for alcohol. Blood tests may yield inaccurate results due to problems such as:
Contamination – If you have ever had your blood drawn, you probably know that the medical professional cleans the area with an alcohol wipe before inserting the needle. However, using an alcohol wipe for BAC testing can cause a false positive.
Improper testing procedures – Testing the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood involves mixing the sample with various chemicals, including preservatives and anticoagulants. Using the wrong type or amount of these chemicals can throw off results.
Fermentation – Just as a piece of fruit will eventually rot and produce alcohol, blood samples can also ferment if stored improperly.
Timing issues – Blood tests have to be taken within the appropriate time frame to yield accurate results. When someone drinks beer, wine, or liquor, the body metabolizes the drink, and the alcohol enters the bloodstream. The person’s blood alcohol content may not peak until up to two hours after drinking. The rising blood alcohol defense asserts that the person’s BAC was under the legal limit at the time of driving.
Procedural and chain of custody errors – To use blood test results to convict someone of drunk driving, the prosecution must show that the sample was properly obtained, sealed, and stored.
If you or a loved one were arrested for DUI, contact Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney Scott Anderson for help. Call Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law at 847-253-3400 for a free consultation.
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