DUI blood tests are not always correct. They can be challenged in a court of law by the right attorney, with the experience and knowledge necessary to do so. Like any test conducted by a person, no matter his or her skill, there is room for human error. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence and have blood test evidence against you, the results of your test may seem damning and difficult to dispute. If, however, you retain an attorney with an intricate knowledge of DUI law and blood tests, you are necessarily helpless against these charges. In fact, through your attorney, you can challenge blood tests in Hall County, Georgia.
The Rights of DUI Suspects in Hall County
In Georgia, the law states that a person who drives a motor vehicle has already given consent to have their blood or breath tested, to determine whether or not he or she is under the influence of alcohol/drugs. This is because of the doctrine of implied consent, which holds that a driver's consent to blood and breath testing is just that - implied. Refusal to submit to state testing could result in a one-year suspension of your driver's license for a first offense, and a fee greater than $200. It is critical that anyone charged with driving under the influence immediately consult with a Hall County DUI attorney to appeal a license suspension. The individual charged has only 30 days to appeal the suspension before they lose their license for one year. If the suspension is appealed by a skilled attorney versed in Georgia DUI law, you could save your right to drive. If you have been charged, do not wait.
Anyone charged with DUI should know that they have the right to independent testing; they can request a separate blood test be performed by an independent professional unaffiliated with the police department when they have been accused of driving under the influence. The implied consent card, read to DUI suspects at the time of arrest, states:
"After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing."
The Hall County police officer must reasonably accommodate anyone who invokes this right by taking you to a hospital and other institution qualified to run blood tests. If the Hall County police officer fails to accommodate you as you exercise this right, then the police's own blood test may be thrown out in court. The lack of blood test evidence may greatly help you in your case, provided you have a good lawyer to combat other evidence the state may have against you.
How to Challenge DUI Blood Work
The process of drawing blood from a DUI suspect, getting it to a lab and analyzing the results is far from perfect. Furthermore, it is far from having foolproof reliability. Many people - including attorneys - cower before the authority of science, insinuating these results are indisputable and that numbers cannot lie. While breath tests provide quicker results and are generally easier for law enforcement, blood tests are considered more reliable. The keyword here is "considered."
Blood tests and breath tests are more alike than you think. A breathalyzer analyzes a gaseous sample: your breath. A Hall County DUI blood test, conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, is actually also analyzing a gaseous sample. Blood, of course, is liquid but the process scientists use to determine your blood alcohol content actually turns the alcohol in your blood into gas and analyzes it using a process known as gas chromatography. Without delving into the entire process: after your blood is collected, it is placed in a tube, heated, and any alcohol in your blood becomes gas in that tube. This gas is then burned, the reaction it produces is measured by a computer software program and results are printed as a graph. With all these steps, errors can and have occurred. For this reason, a skilled Hall County DUI attorney may be able to find vulnerabilities in the blood test evidence against you.
The Process of Testing Blood in Hall County, Georgia
When the blood is collected, it must be in a sanitary environment by a trained professional with clean equipment. If the technician fails to collect even a tenth of an ounce of the required sample size, this can distort the final result. If the sample is contaminated at any point, it cannot provide a valid blood alcohol content reading and cannot be used in court.
How can a lawyer argue that a blood sample was contaminated? An easy way to make this argument is by probing officials about the chain of custody of the sample. The sample will pass between hands, from its time of collection to its time of analysis. If the sample was not transported immediately or properly stored in the right conditions, the suspect's attorney may be able to get the result thrown out. If the chain of custody is broken at any point, meaning its location and handler became uncertain or unknown for any duration of time, the result may be thrown out. For example, blood samples not properly stored are susceptible to fermentation. This would increase the amount of alcohol in the sample and create an artificially high result when the sample is read.
When the blood is tested in the lab, all equipment must be properly calibrated. The machine used to measure alcohol content in the blood, the gas chromatograph, may detect compounds similar to alcohol and read them as alcohol. Furthermore, if the lab makes any errors in the process of analyzing the subject's blood, there is no guarantee those errors will be reported.
Hall County DUI Defense Lawyer
Being charged with DUI is a scary, confusing, nerve-wracking experience that would make anyone on edge. Their career, livelihood and personal life may be put on the line when they are charged. The stakes are even greater when there is blood test evidence against them, and it may feel like there is no way out. Hall County DUI attorney Richard Lawson will work tirelessly to build your defense and defend your rights in court. Do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Richard Lawson, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.