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Evidential Blood Test

California drivers arrested on suspicion of DUI must submit to a breath or blood test to determine whether the motorist's blood alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit - now .08 percent in all 50 states. However, blood test results can be challenged. Anyone who took a blood test after a DUI arrest should consult with a California DUI defense lawyer to learn how blood test results can be challenged.

Anyone licensed to drive in California operates under implied consent law, which means the driver agrees to take either a blood or breath test if arrested on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). If a driver is suspected of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID), a blood or urine test may be required.

Submitting to the chemical test is in the best interests of someone arrested for DUI in California. Drivers who refuse to submit to the required chemical test face a number of serious repercussions, including fines, mandatory imprisonment if the person is convicted of DUI, and a DMV suspension of the driver's license. Furthermore, California courts allow police to take blood by force if a driver refuses to submit to a chemical test.

Even when a driver takes a breath test, the officer must advise the person of the right to take a blood test in order to retain a sample of blood for later testing by an independent forensic toxicologist. This is a safeguard for the DUI defendant. Tests are fallible, and human error is not uncommon. It’s imperative to consult with a California criminal defense attorney who has experience defending DUI cases to learn how blood test results can be challenged.

Improper blood drawing techniques are a common error in a DUI case. The blood must be drawn into a glass tube with white powder in the bottom - the white powder is a mixture of preservative and anticoagulant. If the sample does not contain enough anticoagulant, the blood will clot, reflecting an artificially high blood alcohol level. If there are improper levels of preservative in the sample, the blood sample can actually ferment, creating alcohol. An independent test can reveal these kinds of errors.

Blood TestingThe blood must also be drawn by an individual with the proper certification, and the driver's arm must be wiped with an alcohol-free wipe. The blood sample must be shaken to thoroughly distribute the anti-coagulant and preservative. The sample must be kept in a controlled environment in order to preserve its quality. Therefore, it is beneficial in pursuing a DUI defense to identify the "chain of custody" in order to fully understand who had access to the sample, and how it was stored.

In addition, it is important to note that while a chemical test may have accurately determined blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) at the time of testing, it is not conclusive evidence of BAC at the time of driving. Alcohol levels change over time, and the crime is driving under the influence, not having a BAC above the legal limit at a later time.

It is important to keep in mind that a blood test that indicates that a driver was over the legal limit doesn't mean an automatic conviction. Blood tests can be successfully challenged. An aggressive defense by a highly experienced California DUI Lawyer with expert technical support can discredit the results of any chemical tests and cast doubt on the driver's guilt.

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