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Blood Test Basics

Blood testing for blood alcohol concentration is usually the most damning evidence that an individual accused of DUI in Placer County will face. In California, it is used to support a separate DUI offense for BAC above .20 %, and is considered an enhancement to the crime. Blood testing is considered the most accurate test.

By driving a vehicle in California you give your "implied consent" to submit to a chemical test for alcohol or drug content if suspected By a Placer County Police Officer of driving under the influence.

When state law talks about "Alcohol Content" or BAC, it refers to the number of grams of alcohol present per 100 milliliters of blood in the person's system. A BAC of 0.10% would mean that the person has 1/10 of a gram of alcohol per every 100 milliliters of blood. So when it comes to the legal limit of 0.08%, we are only talking about a small amount of measurable alcohol.

Typically, when chemical evidence is admitted for use by the prosecution in a Placer County DUI Case, there are more ways to attack the accuracy of a breath test than a blood test. Blood testing involves taking a sample of blood and directly measuring the alcohol content. A blood test also measures for the presence of prohibited drugs and their metabolites in your system.

Challenges to accuracy are available, however; and if successful, may result in dismissal of the DUI charge, reduction to a less serious offense, or winning against a license suspension. Placer County DUI attorney Michael Phillips and staff employ the use of extensive discovery from the crime laboratory. Gas chromatograph calibration, maintenance, and repair records can reveal startling problems which violate scientific standards and California state law requirements.

Mr. Phillips often demands a blood re-test at an independent lab. A re-test which results in a substantially different BAC may be grounds for dismissal of a Placer County DUI charge, reduction to a lesser charge, or winning against license suspension.

The blood sample can also be tested for blood type and even DNA matching. And ... what happens if the government lab fails to produce a portion of the sample for re-test? The blood test results should not be admitted against you. Mr. Phillips consults with experts regarding individual cases to determine whether the accuracy of the reported BAC alcohol level is reliable or not. There are several issues for concern:

*The law requires that your blood is taken by a licensed individual; that in fact is sometimes not the case.

*Was your sample properly preserved (i.e., properly refrigerated)? This is critical because of the specter of fermentation which could increase the alcohol level in the sample to be tested.

*Is the "Chain of Custody of the sample properly documented? Crime labs routinely analyze multiple samples of different people in the same time frame?

*Did a qualified licensed lab person do the analysis in the presence of a qualified Supervisor?

*Was the Gas Chromatograph device properly calibrated, maintained, repaired according to California State law and the terms of the lab's license? What do the lab records say?

*Were the records prepared properly to document all that is required By law and science? Can the lab provide them?

*Blood tests are always taken some time after the driving and alcohol levels rise and lower over time . What can this mean in your Placer County DUI case? How do you find out?

Please feel free to contact our office at 800.978.0186 or for answers to any questions you may have about DUI blood testing.