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DUI testing by drawing blood and analyzing the actual blood alcohol content (BAC) of suspected intoxicated drivers is on the rise in the state of Florida. Blood tests are far more reliable than the common breath analysis. For one thing, these tests measure the actual level of blood alcohol content instead of estimating it, as is the case with breath analysis.

Obtaining a Florida Blood Tests Attorney

The conviction rate for blood tests is significantly higher than with breath tests. Still, there are defenses available to challenge both the admissibility and accuracy of a blood test. The DUI attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. are knowledgeable and experienced at presenting the scientific evidence that is required to challenge blood tests in Florida.

When Is a Blood Test for DUI Required in Florida?

Florida is an implied consent state. That means if you are stopped for a traffic infraction, and the investigating office has reasonable suspicion to believe that you are driving under the influence, you must submit to a breath, urine, or blood test, or your license will be suspended for one year.

In most circumstances, the choice of test is yours. Police may require a blood test only when:

  • You are unconscious
  • You appear for treatment at a medical facility
  • There is an injury accident and a blood sample is drawn for treatment purposes that reveals a BAC over .08 percent
  • The accident involves death or serious injury, OR
  • A suspect requests or consents to the blood test

Since blood tests are generally regarded as more accurate than breath analysis in determining blood alcohol content (BAC), individuals who are confident about their low BAC levels often opt for blood testing over breath analysis. This preference is rooted in the inherent differences between the two testing methods. Breath analyzers, while convenient and non-invasive, can sometimes yield inaccurate or misleading results due to various factors such as calibration errors, improper use, or the presence of certain substances in the mouth that can affect the reading.

In contrast, blood tests measure the actual alcohol content in the bloodstream, providing a more direct and precise reading of a person’s level of intoxication. This level of accuracy is particularly crucial in DUI cases, where even a slight discrepancy in BAC readings can have significant legal implications. For someone who has consumed little to no alcohol, opting for a blood test can be a strategic move to avoid the risk of a falsely high BAC reading from a breathalyzer.

The scientific reliability of blood tests means that their results are often given more weight in court compared to breath tests. This can be especially important in cases where the margin between legal and illegal BAC levels is very narrow. By choosing a blood test, individuals can ensure a more accurate representation of their actual alcohol level, potentially influencing the outcome of their DUI case.

Basis for Challenging Blood Tests for DUI in Florida

Blood tests are subjected to the same reasonable suspicion requirements as breath analyzer tests. The first line of defense is to:

  • Challenge the stop. If there is no basis for the stop, then the results that follow can be suppressed.
  • Identify defective field sobriety tests. If the field sobriety tests were not properly administered, not authorized and approved, or otherwise do not justify a reasonable suspicion of DUI, then the test results themselves may be inadmissible.

Exacting protocols must be rigorously adhered to in connection with the collection and testing process. Errors or omissions can result in the samples being excluded. Among the common errors that result in evidence being ruled inadmissible are:

  • The skin area where the test is to be administered must be first cleaned with a substance that does not contain alcohol.
  • Blood samples must be collected in glass tubes that contain both a preservative and an anticoagulant.
  • The collection tube has to be immediately shaken to mix the blood with the preservative and anticoagulant.
  • Blood collection tubes must be labeled with the date and time of the test, the name of person tested and initials of the person who collected the sample.
  • Blood samples must be refrigerated if not sent to be analyzed within seven days of collection.
  • Blood samples must be hand-delivered (including by express mail and overnight delivery) for analysis within 30 days of collection and must be initially analyzed within 60 days of the delivery.
  • The blood must be extracted by an authorized and trained health care professional.
  • The chain of custody must not be broken.

Legal Trouble in Florida? Let Our Florida Blood Tests Law Firm Help

Expert witness testimony is required in order to prevail on a motion to suppress blood test evidence. The trial attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. maintain ongoing professional relationships with some of the most prominent scientific experts who regularly appear in court on behalf of the firm’s clients.

If you’re facing a DUI charge in Florida and a blood test is involved, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the implications of this evidence on your case. Our experienced team at Katz & Phillips, P.A. is here to help you navigate these complex legal waters. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation, examine the details of the blood test, and explore potential defense strategies.

Our expertise in challenging the admissibility and accuracy of blood test results could be pivotal in your case. So don’t delay – reach out to us today to take the first step towards informed legal action and robust defense against your DUI charge in Florida. Our commitment is to provide you with the thorough, aggressive representation you need during this challenging time.