5 Things You Should Know About DUI Blood Tests in California

DUI Defense Guide

In California there is an implied consent law that states that all drivers give their implied consent to a DUI chemical test just by driving in the state

In Our FAQ's To DUI Blood Test Laws We'll Cover:

  1. Can An Attorney Challenge a DUI Blood Test?
  2. Can A Different Lab Test My Blood?
  3. Will An Alcohol Swab Affect The Test Results?
  4. Are Blood Tests Reliable?
  5. Do Most People Refuse To Take The Blood Test?

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dui blood test in lab

In California, a person can be arrested for DUI if they are found driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater. In general, a warrant is necessary for the police to draw someone’s blood after they have been arrested for DUI and then test the blood to obtain the person’s BAC at the time they were driving.  If a driver refuses a DUI blood test in California, they will get their driver’s license suspended. If a driver is stopped for DUI, they are usually given field sobriety tests. If the driver fails these tests, they may be taken to a hospital to get a DUI blood test.  Under Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, DUI blood tests must be performed by a trained technician who uses proper medical practices for the results of the blood test to be admissible against someone later in court.

DUI Blood Test Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can An Attorney Challenge a DUI Blood Test?

Yes. An experienced DUI attorney can challenge a DUI blood test in your case because even toxicologists cannot always be certain that a driver’s BAC was above or below a particular limit. There is usually a variance of 3%-10% within where a driver’s actual BAC was when they were driving. This means that even though you might have tested at 0.08%, your actual BAC when you were driving might have really been only 0.04%.

2. Can I Have Another Laboratory Test My Blood To Find Out My BAC?

Yes. In California, your DUI attorney can usually file a motion with the court to get your blood sample tested by an independent laboratory.

3. If The Medical Technician Uses An Alcohol Swab On Me Before The Blood Test, Will This Affect the Test Results?

Yes. This can contaminate your blood sample because alcohol swabs usually contain 2% ethyl alcohol.

4. Are DUI Blood Tests Even Reliable?

DUI blood tests are generally thought to be reliable since the evidence (i.e. blood sample) can be re-analyzed at a later date. However, a problem with the reliability of DUI blood tests is that lab testing errors may throw off the results of the tests in some cases. Some lab testing errors can throw off final blood-alcohol readings by .001 percentage points and this can cause people to be wrongly identified as having an excessively high BAC when their blood-alcohol level really wasn’t that high.

5. Do Most People Refuse To Take DUI Blood Tests?

No. Most people agree to have a DUI blood test because they will face additional penalties under the implied consent law if they refuse to take the test. Also, if a person refuses to take a DUI blood test, the prosecutor in the case can try to use their refusal as evidence of their guilt.

Hiring An Attorney

The state of California has implemented tough drunk driving laws, including an implied consent law where a person arrested for DUI must submit to a DUI blood test or have their driver’s license suspended. In some cases where a DUI blood test shows that a person’s BAC was slightly over the 0.08% legal limit, an experienced attorney may be able to successfully argue that the person’s BAC was actually below the legal limit earlier when they were driving.

At the Aizman Law Firm, a Los Angeles DUI attorney can help you with questions you might have about whether the results of your DUI blood test were reliable. If you need to speak to an attorney about your case please call our office at: (818) 351-9555.

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