When you are pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol, the law enforcement officer may request your DUI charges pending results of a breath or blood test to confirm a blood alcohol content level that is over the legal limit (.08%). The more common of the two is the breathalyzer test, but what about the other?
Let’s look closer at the less common option to determine whether or not you should consent to the test when suspected of a DUI.
Unlike the breathalyzer, the BAC blood test can pick up results for more than just alcohol. Illegal drugs and prescription medications can be detected by this test, and these results can be used to confirm your impairment, allowing for a legitimate DUI or DWI charge. For this reason, if you’ve taken illegal or prescription drugs that could alter your ability to drive, it’s best to opt for the breathalyzer when suspected of driving under the influence or while impaired.
Your body will absorb alcohol over the course of up to two hours after your last drink. Breathalyzer tests can be conducted right on the spot when you are pulled over for DUI, but officers must transport you to a specific location in order to have the blood test administered, like a police station or hospital.
The time it takes for you to travel to one of those locations can benefit you. If your last drink was 1-2 hours before you were initially pulled over and there isn’t a station or medical facility nearby, your BAC may fall below the legal limit by the time your blood is drawn.
The blood test administered to determine a person’s level of intoxication has its drawbacks. Like other tests that cannot boast 100% accuracy in their results, the DUI blood test is only as good as the technology and equipment used to gather and process the specimen. However, if you believe without a doubt that you are under the legal limit of .08%, the blood test is the safer option of the two, as it is the more accurate test for BAC. Breath test results can be skewed by mouthwash or other products known to contain alcohol.
Challenging the DUI Blood Test
Some issues with the blood test exist that may allow higher chances of success if you decide to challenge results in court when charged with a DUI. Samples can:
- Become contaminated after collection
- Be accidentally switched with a different sample
- Undergo fermentation which would product alcohol inside of the vial
If you believe the results from your blood test are incorrect, and that you were under the legal limit when your blood was drawn, you have the option to challenge those results. This will require filing a motion to exclude the results from evidence, and/or aggressively attacking the officer’s conclusions in order to get a plea bargain or ‘not guilty’ verdict in a jury trial, both of which are most successful with the legal assistance of a DUI attorney.
Looking for a DUI Lawyer in Columbia, MD?
The professional attorneys at Albers & Associates are highly skilled in defending cases of those who have been charged with DUI/DWI in Maryland, as well as other criminal offenses. Our expert lawyers will walk you through every step of the process and do everything they can to ensure fair treatment, as well as lesser penalties. Contact us today for your free consultation for DUI/DWI legal services.