Are Blood Tests More Accurate Than Breath Tests?
Both breath and blood tests are accurate, and both are hard to fight. If you can afford to get an expert, they’re going to tell you that a blood test will typically show a higher result than a breath test. Unfortunately the law doesn’t differentiate between the two scores. Anytime you have chemical testing, the things you’re fighting are two different kinds of DUI tickets.
The first kind of ticket is automatic, and it’s the most common one, and it is called a per se violation. With a test result of 0.08 or higher, you will be presumed under the influence. With a result of 0.079 down to a .05, there’s no presumption of being under the influence. A test result of 0.049 to 0.00 is presumed sober. These are all rebuttable presumptions. If you came in with a .08 breath test, if you can afford an expert, they may come testify about the unreliability of the machines. I’ve seen several cases where defendants blew over the legal limit, they got an expert to testify, and the judge throws the case out. This kind of defense does work, but not all the time, and it’s very expensive. Most people can’t afford to pay that kind of expert to come in for one day.
Where Does The Blood Testing Generally Take Place In a DUI Case?
A blood test is never taken at the police station. They’ll always take you to a local hospital to have that done. They have to have a certified phlebotomist, which is someone who draws blood, or a registered nurse, or a doctor do the procedure—someone who has been trained to do it.
Is There A Timeframe Associated With Blood Tests In a DUI Case?
There is not usually a timeframe associated with a blood test. This may help you, because it might take a couple hours, and hopefully your blood alcohol content would have lowered slightly. However, alcohol doesn’t leave your blood quite as quickly as it does out of your breath. It might help you, but you can’t rely on that. There’s no time limit. You might have a defense, but you might have to get an expert in and to just show the absorption rate into your body. For example, 10 minutes after two shots and a couple of beers, it may very well be that the blood in your system wouldn’t be registering. But it wouldn’t have affected you at the time you were driving. You can show a scale as to when the alcohol was entering your body, and when it’s leaving your body. This is why the officer makes you wait at least 20 minutes.
I’ve had people where they’re involved in an accident and they go home without stopping, and an officer shows up at their door an hour later. The officer is going to suspect that you were driving under the influence at that time of the accident. Sometimes, you can say that you were distraught, came home, and had a drink or two, but that you weren’t under the influence when you were driving. I’ve seen this as a defense multiple times.
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