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Misconceptions About Blood Draws

One of the biggest misconceptions people have in this area surrounds the fact that people seem unaware of how alcohol interacts with the body. One thing I always do when people come in for a consultation is to show them the bell curve, and go over specific defenses that may be related to the way alcohol actually gets into their system, and they are usually surprised.

Most people will tell the police officer they had two beers about two hours earlier, even if their drinking wasmore recent, in part because they misinterpret the way that alcohol interacts with the body and believe that saying “two hours ago” indicates the alcohol has already left their system, when that may not be the case. Depending on the size of those beers and whether they also ate, even if they did only drink two beers, the alcohol may be peaking in their system.

What Are Some Examples of Experts Utilized for a Blood Draw Case?

A blood alcohol expert could testify as to a rising BAC defense. For example, if you performed field sobriety tests and a preliminary alcohol screen and bothsuggest you are below a 0.08, but the blood test comes back showing you above, you may have an argument for a rising BAC so the expert, a forensic toxicologist, can essentially review the reports, the alcohol consumption, drinking pattern, food consumption, and all other available information and determine whether or notyour blood-alcohol content was rising at the time of the stop.

The law allows the prosecution to assume the blood result was a person’s BAC at the time of driving, so long as the test is completed within three hours after driving. You may also have other issues, such as if you had a gastric bypass, or a blood-related issue such as diabetes. I’ve even heard of people self-creating alcohol;there is a very small population of people whose body processes food into alcohol, and who can have a high BAC, even if they had nothing to drink.

There are a number of things that can happen that may require the use of a forensic toxicologist or some sort of medical expert if that becomes necessary.

How Often Does a Blood Draw Occur In A DUI?

These days, it probably 50-50 since, when someone is arrested, they have the right to choose between a blood alcohol test or a breath alcohol test and many people probably choose a breath test initially because either they are afraid of needles or it’s quicker. Sometimes, people choose the breath test just because they believe they are under the limit and they want to prove that to the officer on the spot, but some choose a blood test becauseit can be retested.

Do People Get Discouraged When Defending Against A Blood Draw Case?

Some people do get discouragedif they see a high BAC level. There are a number of potential issues that can come up in a blood case, so it’s important to continue that investigation, but many people don’t see potentialissues with the analysis or the fermentation. I even had a case once in which a blood sample was placed in a blood vial that was expired by two months; that can only be found out through investigation.

That’s why it’s important to look at everything, and to keep up hope. You have to look at the logs to see if there was fermentation, you look at expiration dates of the vials; that initial result is important because that is what you will be dealing with, but it’s also important to not be discouraged, because the investigation will help.

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