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 retest 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. However, prior to offering the breath test to a person arrested for a DUI, the police officer must tell them that the sample of breath will not be saved and therefore cannot be retested later by Los Angeles DUI defense attorney.
Both blood and breath tests can be inaccurate and often can be successfully attacked by drunk driving attorney Los Angeles. For example:
- Breath alcohol measuring machines are known for a margin of error and 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 Los Angeles 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. The police’s failure to store the blood at the correct temperature or use the correct preservative can give wrong results.
All blood samples are collected into vials for blood collection. The blood vials are ordered from a factory where they are prepared in a way to keep them clean. Only a gray top tube must be used for blood collection. No bacteria or contaminants must be present in the vials and there need to be enough chemicals to keep the collected blood from fermenting. Sometimes the factory that makes the blood vials make a mistake and does not put the correct chemicals or the correct amount of chemicals into the blood vials. When that happens, tubes can not be used and if they do, the blood tests are defective.
BECTON DICKINSON 2019 DEFECTIVE GRAY TOP TUBES
This is exactly what happened in the summer of 2019 when Becton Dickinson, a big company that manufactures blood vials used for DUI prosecution, mailed many defective sets of blood tubes to police agencies all over the country. The only way to check if the tubes that were used to collect the blood in your case are defective is to see the lot (8187663 was the defective lot). Ask your Los Angeles DUI Attorney if the blood vial used in your case came from the defective lot and ask the prosecutor to dismiss your Los Angeles DUI case. Usually, Los Angeles DUI Attorney asks for a photograph of the blood vile to see if the lot is the recalled lot.
SINGLE COLUMN TEST
Another method to attack the blood tests that are used to prosecute drivers accused of DUIs 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 a “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). Therefore, 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, many police crime labs continue to use “single column” blood testing. This is an inadequate method for a scientific conclusion necessary to prosecute the crimes of Los Angeles drunk driving. Los Angeles DUI lawyers can get your case dismissed if the police lab was using a “single column” test. Ask your Los Angeles DUI Attorney if a single or double-column chromatograph was used to measure the presence of alcohol in your blood.
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 familiar with the judges and prosecutors in the Los Angeles Superior Courts and can negotiate deals many other Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys cannot. We offer competitive prices, accept most credit cards, and offer great payment plans. Call our office anytime at (818) 776-0402 to talk to an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney.