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Articles Posted in Blood Test

This is a very good question. There are two kinds of chemical tests under California state law to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time he was stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. Until recently, there was also a urine test which was part of the drivers choice of tests. This test after many years. was eliminated by the legislature due to their determination that this type of test did not meet the high standards of accuracy required by the law.

There are two remaining tests which a suspected drunk driver has to chose from. These tests are the blood and breath tests. The blood test, which most experts view as the more accurate of the two because this test essentially through a direct analysis, measures the percentage of alcohol in the blood drawn from a suspected driver.The result is a blood alcohol concentration or bac which is directly correlated to the language of the law prohibiting blood-alcohol levels of .08 or over.

In addition, if the suspected driver is also under the influence of a drug, a blood test or urine test is the only way to determine their presence. A breath test is only capable of measuring alcohol.

There is nothing illegal about drinking alcohol. There or is also nothing illegal about drinking alcohol and driving. It is only against the law to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or more.

The state of California created this law under section 23152 of the vehicle code. This law has a number of different sections which make it illegal to drive a motor vehicle under certain circumstances. 23152 (a) V.C. prohibits any person to drive a car when their driving ability is impaired by either alcohol or drugs or the combination. 23152 (b) V.C. prohibits driving by those people who have a blood-alcohol level of .08% or more.

When I asked my clients how much they have had to drink, the most common response is with a number. For example, clients will tell me they had a couple of drinks, a few glasses of champagne etc. Our average client speaks of their drinks like they were all the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. This oversimplification, is what commonly gets my clients in trouble. Although, counting and keeping track of what one has to drink is important, what you are drinking is just, and maybe more important than just the number.

If you have been charged with a DUI and at the time of your arrest you refused to take a chemical test, then the consequences regarding your license may vary. A DMV hearing must be scheduled within ten days of your arrest. At the DMV hearing, an officer will review the facts of your case and determine what sanctions to impose on your license, if any. You have the right to have an attorney appear on your behalf at a DMV hearing.

If you refused to take a Chemical test that would allow the arresting officer to gather evidence regarding your Blood Alcohol Content, your potential consequences will differ from those that submit to the Chemical Test. You have a right to refuse to take the initial chemical test administered at the scene, but generally must comply with the test given at the station.

If you are over 21 years of age, and have been arrested the DMV may suspend your license for one year on a first time offense. For a second offense, you license may result in a two year revocation. For any third of fourth time offense, your license will result in a three year revocation.

Our clients frequently ask us whether blood-alcohol testing, whether by analysis of one’s blood, or by the use of an approved breathalyzer machine at the police station is accurate. Blood alcohol testing in driving under the influence of alcohol cases is carefully regulated by the federal government under Title 17, setting forth specific guidelines for all blood alcohol testing, which must be scrupulously followed by the police, or hospital to ensure the accuracy of any sample taken and analyzed in a Los Angeles county DUI arrest.

The primary purpose of these procedures is to create a uniform set of guidelines to be followed, thus directing law enforcement throughout the state of California to adhere to these very specific government standards. In a Drunk Driving case where the defendant has submitted a blood sample to be tested for alcohol, or drugs, the government must document all of the specific procedures used from drawing the blood sample to having it analyzed by a state approved laboratory.

It is critical that an experienced Drunk Driving defense lawyer review the documentation and correctness of the procedures followed by the police in their client’s case to ensure an accurate result. Firstly only state licensed clinicians, who have been properly trained in the specific procedures of drawing blood from a driver accused of driving under the influence are allowed to draw blood.

Many of our clients who are arrested for a DUI are choose to take a Blood test to obtain a reading of their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). California state law strictly regulates the procedures for obtaining an accurate blood test sample under Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.

Despite legal regulations in effect, procedures are not often followed. A knowledgeable DUI attorney is able to review the specific facts of your case and determine if a blood test sample is obtained inaccurately. If errors exist in the manner with which the sample is collected, a skilled attorney can use the facts to weaken prosecution’s case and strengthen the argument in favor of the defendant.

When administering a blood test, law enforcement is required to have a trained professional draw the blood. Additionally, they are required to accurately store the sample so that it can properly be tested free of contamination. Officers have to also ensure that the chain of custody is not disturbed. The chain of custody refers to all that have handled the blood sample, from the professional who drew the blood to the technician that tests it for the BAC. All who have had custody of the sample must be accounted for and properly qualified.

A significant component of the prosecutor’s case rests on your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). When arrested for a DUI, you have the option of taking the blood or breath test to determine your BAC. If you chose the Blood Test, you should be aware of the many errors that can yield a higher reading.

In comparison to taking a Breath Test, a Blood test is shown by experts to be more accurate due to the fact that it is a direct analysis. A direct analysis does not have to be converted into a measure of your Blood Alcohol level, as is the case with the Breath test. Regardless of its higher accuracy rate, a Los Angeles DUI attorney will explain to you that the Blood test is not without its own variables of inaccuracy.

A blood sample may be exposed to several factors that may yield an inaccurate result. The sample may be contaminated after it has been taken from the arrested person. Additionally, the sample could accidentally be switched with another, leaving you with a higher BAC than your actual BAC. This will potentially have a significant impact on your DUI case.

The officer’s observations in the police reports that he completes after an arrest, are the basis for determining the relative strength or weakness of the state of California’s case against you.

In a driving under the influence arrest, the first critical element to evaluate is whether the officers had probable cause to stop you. In a DUI case, the more vehicle code violationssthe officers cite in their report create a stronger case for the prosecution. Vehicle code violations such as technical violations, like no license plates, or a tail light out although valid probable cause, create a weaker case for the prosecution.

Vehicle code violations like weaving, lane Straddling, or driving on the wrong side of the street, create a stronger case for the prosecution since they add a link for the prosecutor to build a case of a impaired driving.

Just about a month into the New Year, we learn that the California Highway Patrol is taking a no nonsense approach to Drunk Driving. On New Year’s Eve between 6 P.M and 6 A.M, the CHP arrested 108 drivers who were found to be intoxicated over the legal limit in Los Angeles County alone. This number has jumped up by 20 arrests since last year. These arrests include only those that were made by the CHP. The actual number arrested is higher when all local police departments are taken into consideration.

These numbers are from a single night, and when taken alone seem to be tolerable for a huge city like Los Angeles. However, there were seven fatalities in the county alone on that one night. That is seven people who lost their lives due to a careless decision, and innumerable amount of people who lost someone from their lives. The statistics from New Years Eve in Los Angeles County are analogous to those seen around the State of California. Government officials have not only taken notice to the alarming numbers increasing year after year, but are taking drastic actions to deter offenders and help protect the public.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a speech given on October 13, 2009 at the signing legislation AB 91 explained that it was crucial that we cut down on drunk drivers as it is becoming a serious problem in California. He noted that last year alone there were 1,335 DUI related fatalities and it was “inexcusable” that on a daily basis law enforcement arrested about 550 different drunk drivers which came out to more than 200,000 arrests a year. He further commented that he found it “outrageous” that 25% of these offenders were repeat offenders. As a result he has increased the amount of checkpoints, introduced new legislation and increased penalties to help decrease the growing problem.

I am frequently asked by clients and people I meet if it is advisable to refuse to take a chemical test either breath or blood is stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).sIn my practice as a DUIsspecialist for over 30 years,sI am frequently told that people think that it is better to refuse to submit to a chemical test after drinking to keep the police from having any physical evidence of those suspected of having a .08 %sor over (the legal limit in California).

While that would seem true to many people,sthe DUI laws regardingsrefusals have legislated serious consequences for those failing to complete a chemical test to determine the alcohol content in their blood.

California state law requires that those persons stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence are required to submit to a breath or blood test when requested to do so by a police officer after a vehicle stop. Failure to comply with the officer’s request mandates 48 hours in jail and a one-year license suspension. Thesessevere consequence aresfor first offender DUI cases. The penalties for second and third offense cases is substantially greater.

Beware of the presence of the Los Angeles Police Department using hundreds of DUI checkpoints throughout the City of Los Angeles.

Over the past 10 years since these randomsCheckpoints were first introduced, the Police have extended these checkpoints throughout the city at locations focusing on intersections selected for their high incidents of traffic accidents and perceived DUI drivers.

DUI checkpoints do not require the police to justify any vehicle stop. This is an exception to the legal requirement of probable cause (i.e. violation of any vehicle code section) to make the stop of a vehicle lawful and valid.

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