DUI Blood Test Errors in Los Angeles

October 26, 2015

DUI Blood Test Errors

In this article, we will discuss DUI Blood Test Errors that are well known and can cause serious problems in Los Angeles DUI prosecutions. DUI Blood test is done when by police after a DUI arrest.  If you are arrested, the police will tell you that you have to submit to a chemical test. Los Angeles DUI lawyers will help you fight your DUI case and show that a DUI blood test was not done correctly.  The driver will be asked to choose to either do a blood test or the breath test when arrested for a DUI.  Only if neither test is available, the police have to offer a urine test.  Urine test is very unreliable compared to breath or blood tests and rarely used in Los Angeles DUI prosecution.  But even more reliable tests can be wrong and show inaccurate blood alcohol level and even have other DUI blood test errors.  Even when the blood alcohol level is measured correctly and accurately in the blood, it might not represent the true blood level because of improper collection, preservation, partition ratio or storage.

DUI blood test errors can become a common problem when a proper scientific procedure is not followed.

Inaccurate DUI blood test is more common in labs that do not have strict quality control in place.  Los Angeles DUI lawyer is able to determine if the crime lab is not following proper procedure and win your Los Angeles DUI case.  Even when lab testing is accurate, alcohol blood test can give wrong results because of improper preservation or collection of blood sample.  When a police officer gets a sample of the blood from a person suspecte of a DUI in Los Angeles, he will send it to a crime lab for analysis.  Crime labs will analyze the blood sample and use it to determine the level of alcohol in percent of alcohol by weight.  A .08% is the currently used non-commercial level of alcohol at which the person is considered DUI.  .08% means that for every 8 parts of alcohol, there is 10,000 parts of blood.  At this level a person is considered legally impaired regarless of whether he is drunk or not.  But, depending on the scientific techniques used, the testing, the preservation, and reporting can result in wrong result of a BAC level.

The DUI blood test is generally more reliable than then DUI breath test results for a variety of reasons, including, partition ratios, margins of error, and other factors that affect the difference between alcohol concentration in blood and breath.  Despite the supposed reliability of blood tests, blood test errors can be common because blood can ferment when improper preservation techniques are used.

It is for example easy to suspect fermentation or other DUI blood test errors when the blood test shows high blood alcohol concentration but the DUI driver does well on a field sobriety test.  Los Angeles DUI attorney can analyze your case and prove that fermentation is the reason your blood alcohol test is high.  In a case like that, DUI lawyer Los Angeles can help you got a dismissal or reduction of DUI charges.

Another example of DUI blood test error is the contamination of blood by substances outside of the blood collection vials or when the police use expired vials for blood collection.

A blood collection vial that is used beyond expiration date will not be able to keep the blood alcohol level because the preservatives lost their ability to maintain blood level concentration.  Los Angeles DUI attorney can help you determine the presence of these and other blood test errors.  The collected blood that remained outside of the refrigerator for too long can cause the production of bacteria and the destruction of the blood sample.

It is not unheard of that blood test manufacturers recall the blood tubes because they are defective. For example, Beckton Dickenson recalled blood tubes in 2019 because they forgot to put in additive powders.  

DUI blood test errors can be also present when the police crime labs used improper testing techniques, such as using a single column blood analysis instead of a more reliable dual-column blood analysis.

If you or your loved one is arrested for a DUI, call Los Angeles DUI lawyer at our office  (818) 921 7744 .  Los Angles DUI attorney can fight your case for you.  Attorneys at our firm have years of experience and know most of the judges and prosecutors in Los Angeles county.  We are able to offer competitive prices while providing the highest level of customer service and highest level of case representation.

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