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Criminal Defense in Denver: Challenging Blood Tests After A DUI


July 12, 2017

Under most circumstances, drivers in Colorado must be given the option of taking a breath or blood test if a police officer suspects that they are driving while intoxicated. Blood tests are typically considered to be more reliable than breath tests, but that doesn’t mean the results of these tests cannot be disproven. An attorney who practices criminal defense in Denver may be able to challenge the results of a blood test using one of these strategies:

Error During the Collection Process

Law enforcement must follow certain steps when collecting a sample of blood from a suspect in order to ensure the results of the test are accurate. If the person who draws the blood makes an error, it’s possible that there will be a false positive result. The person who takes the sample from you has been trained, but don’t mistake him for a doctor. These individuals may have limited experience, especially in the field of forensic blood collection, so it’s very possible that they could make an error that could affect the results.

Error During the Storage of the Sample

After the blood is collected, it must be put into storage right away to preserve the quality of the sample. In addition, the blood must be kept in certain conditions while in storage. The blood is stored until someone is able to analyze the sample to determine if the driver was intoxicated. Even if it is only stored for a short period of time, an error made in the way that it is stored can greatly affect the results.

Why does storage matter so much? Blood samples usually contain yeast, sugar, and bacteria, among many other substances. If the sample is not properly stored, fermentation may begin, which increases the level of alcohol within the sample. This means the person who analyzes the blood sample may conclude that the driver was intoxicated because he detects a higher amount of alcohol than what was actually in the driver’s blood prior to fermentation. Read more about claims and responses to common challenges and defenses in driving while impaired cases.

Testing Issues

The tests that are performed on the blood sample cannot determine when the alcohol being measured first entered the driver’s bloodstream. This means if fermentation does occur after the sample is collected, the test will not notify law enforcement officers that although the alcohol level is high, it is not the driver’s fault.

Certification/Qualification Issues

It’s possible that the person who drew your blood was not qualified to do so. In rare cases, an attorney may determine that the laboratory that tested your blood was not certified to perform this sort of analysis. In either event, an attorney can argue that your blood test results are not reliable because of this lack of certification or qualification.

If you have been charged with DUI, contact the Law Office of John Buckley right away. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.