DUI Blood Testing in Tampa
In cases of drunken driving, it is almost certain that the driver in question
will be submitted to some form of blood alcohol testing. This can be done
in the form of
breath testing, urine testing or blood testing. The latter is considered to be one of
the most accurate forms of testing; however, it is not completely without
fault. There are several different factors which can ultimately affect
the result of any given test - resulting in skewed or completely faulty
results. For this reason, it is extremely important that if you have been
arrested for a DUI and been told that you "failed" the blood
test that you do not hesitate to consult with an experienced
Tampa DUI lawyer. They may be able to help challenge the evidence.
Overview of Florida Blood Testing Procedure
In Florida, there are strict guidelines as to how blood tests may be performed
on any given day. These are outlined under Florida Administrative Code
Chapter 11D-8. For example, it is explained that before the blood test
is given, the technician must cleanse the area with a solution that does
not contain any trace of alcohol; this is different from routine blood
tests as any alcohol-based cleanser could potentially contaminate the
test. It is also specified that whoever takes the sample must be properly
trained and/or certified; for example, it could be done by a physician,
paramedic or someone authorized by the hospital.
Storing the blood must be done in a glass tube that contains the correct
amount of preservatives and anticoagulant to ensure the sample is not
contaminated. Immediately following the drawing / storing of the blood,
the technician must invert it to properly mix it with the preservatives
and anticoagulants within the tube. It must then be labeled with the name
of the person, the date and time when the sample was taken, as well as
the name of the person who took it. If the sample is going to be analyzed
within seven days, it must be refrigerated. Within 30 days of the sample
being taken, it is required that it is hand-delivered or mailed for analysis.
If mailed, it must be done overnight, priority or an equivalent.
Regarding Implied Consent
The Florida Implied Consent Law under Florida Statutes §316.1932 (2012)
explains that any person who is legally allowed to drive in the state
has therefore given their consent to submit to any chemical or physical
test to determine their
blood alcohol level. Put simply, if you have a driver's license and are pulled over during
a traffic stop, you do not have the right to "refuse" the breath
or blood test if the officer has reason to believe that you have been
driving under the influence. If you do refuse, it could be considered
admissible in the court of law as evidence; should it be done two or more
times, it is a first degree misdemeanor.
If you have been involved in a
DUI accident that resulted in either serious bodily injury or the death of another
person, law enforcement is permitted to forcefully withdraw blood. Even
if you refuse the test, the officer has the right to use reasonable force.
If you are unconscious after the accident, the law permits that you have
not withdrawn your consent and therefore a blood test may be lawfully
administered - even if you were not told of your rights or the fact that
failure to submit would result in a driver's license suspension.
Common Flaws of the Blood Test
Although more accurate than
field sobriety, there are still errors that can occur during blood tests that can allow
for a defense attorney to attack on your behalf. The first is the possibility
that the blood has been somehow contaminated. As explained above, Florida
law is specific on washing the draw spot with a cleanser that does not
contain any alcohol. What if there was a mix-up? What if something as
simple as swabbing your arm with an alcohol-based solution resulted in
a faulty reading that showed a BAL way above the legal limit?
Second, your attorney could look into the possibility of a broken chain
of custody. If there was a mix-up with the labeling, delivery or handling
of the blood, it could potentially cause your name to go one someone else's
vial or for you to be handed the results of someone else's test. Third,
if the blood was not properly stored or not properly mixed with the proper
preservatives and anticoagulants, it is possible that the blood could
become fermented; this could completely throw off the reading of the sample
and result in "bad blood."
Contact a Tampa DUI Defense Lawyer Today
If you are facing a DUI case involving a blood test, you need an attorney
on your side that you can trust - someone who can go above and beyond
in their efforts to defend your legal rights. For help you can count on,
turn to the lawyers at
Thomas & Paulk, P.A. today. With over two decades of aggregate lawyer experience, our firm
has proven to be high-quality advocates for the rights of our clients.
To learn more, pick up the phone and
call us as soon as possible.