DUI Blood Tests in Florida
Our Tampa DUI Attorneys Are Ready to Help
In Florida DUI cases, it is almost certain that the driver will be submitted to some form of blood alcohol testing. This testing can be done in the form of breath testing, urine testing, or blood testing. The latter has a reputation for being one of the most accurate forms of testing, but it is not without fault. Several factors can affect the result of any given blood test, resulting in skewed or completely faulty results.
Common Flaws of the Blood Test
Although more accurate than field sobriety tests, errors can still occur during blood tests. The first is the possibility that the blood was contaminated. 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?
Second, your attorney could investigate 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 on 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 adequately mixed with the proper preservatives and anticoagulants, the blood could become fermented. This could completely throw off the reading. These are all important issues to consider.
“Failed” Blood Test? Contact a Tampa DUI Defense Lawyer!
If you are facing DUI charges involving a blood test that allegedly showed a result above the legal limit, you need an attorney on your side you can trust—someone who can go above and beyond to defend your legal rights. For help you can count on, turn to the lawyers at Thomas & Paulk today. With over two decades of experience, our firm has proven to be high-quality advocates for the rights of our clients.
To learn more, contact our Tampa DUI blood test lawyers! We are standing by to offer our experienced insight.
Even if you took a blood test and it showed a result of .08% or higher, this does not mean that you will (or should) be charged with DUI. It does not mean a conviction is the right outcome. Our attorneys know how to challenge blood test results and other DUI evidence.
Florida Blood Testing Procedure
In Florida, there are strict guidelines regarding how DUI-related blood tests should be administered, stored, and handled.
Florida Administrative Code Chapter 11D-8 specifies details such as the following:
- Before the blood test is given, the technician must cleanse the area with a solution that does not contain any trace of alcohol, which could contaminate the test.
- Whoever takes the sample must be adequately trained or certified.
- Blood must be stored in a glass tube with the correct amount of preservatives and anticoagulants 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.
- The blood sample must then be labeled with the person's name, the date and time when the sample was taken, and 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, it must be hand-delivered or mailed for analysis.
Blood Test Warrants for Florida Misdemeanor DUIs
Officers are not able to obtain blood test warrants for misdemeanor DUI cases in Florida. However, there are two exceptions. Both are meant to help prove felony DUI:
- Property was used to commit a crime; or
- It’s possible to use blood test results to prove a felony has been committed.
Implied Consent in Florida DUI Cases
The Florida Implied Consent Law under Florida Statutes §316.1932 explains that any person legally allowed to drive in the state has given their consent to submit to any chemical or field testto determine their blood alcohol level. If you have a driver's license and are pulled over during a traffic stop, you do not have the right to refuse intoxication testing if the officer has reason to believe that you have been driving under the influence.
If you refuse a blood test after a lawful DUI arrest, it could be considered admissible in the court of law as evidence; should it be done two or more times, this is considered a first-degree misdemeanor.
Despite this implied consent law, specific criteria must be met for a blood test to be admissible in court. First, the officer must have reasonable cause to believe that a person was driving while intoxicated. Next, the officer must prove that the blood test was necessary instead of other forms of intoxication measurements. When the blood test is administered, it must be done at a medical facility. Finally, officers must still obtain a warrant to conduct blood tests if a person is unconscious, too intoxicated, or otherwise unable to submit.
Depending on the circumstances, a DUI blood test may be legal in Florida if one or more of the following situations apply:
- Without a warrant, if a person consents and if other types of tests are not possible.
- If the officer has a warrant and the case is a felony DUI.
- With a subpoena of hospital records.
Every situation is different. To discuss yours, we welcome you to contact our firm!
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