Blood testing is not as commonly used to test for DUI in Las Vegas, but when it does, it can be very difficult to defend against. It has a higher accuracy rating than either breathalyzer tests and urine sampling, making it difficult to refute in court.
Nonetheless, DUI-related blood testing is not 100% accurate, and there are many instances and factors that can affect such blood test results. Veteran defense lawyers have faced blood-related evidence in the past, and know certain flaws that they can use to discredit such test results as evidence. Listed below are five defenses against a blood test-related DUI charge in Las Vegas.
Blood sampling for a potential DUI charge cannot be done by the arresting police officers alone. This is a process that can only be handled by a medical professional or a certified medical assistant. There may be incidents where the individual conducting the sampling is not certified for the procedure. In other cases, the individual may be licensed for the job, but is not following procedure or is just simply lacking in competence to conduct the sampling.
Precision equipment is required to properly conduct an accurate blood test. Everything from the lab equipment needed for the actual test to the needle used to draw blood samples need to meet professional standards that can satisfy the legal requirements of the court. Using shoddy, poorly-maintained, or substandard sampling and testing equipment can cast a shadow of doubt on the test results, affecting the accuracy of the DUI claim against the defendant.
Poor Handling of Samples
Accurate and factual test results can only be obtained if the blood sample is still fresh or close to it when the test is conducted. Samples tend to have a short shelf life so they either have to be used immediately, or preserved in proper conditions. They can be mishandled, however, which can cause misleading test results that can invalidate a DUI charge. Mishandling cases may involve everything from improper usage of needles to poor blood storage.
Preemptive Sterilization of the Site of the Blood Drawing
As stated earlier, samples need to be used or preserved quickly because they have a short shelf life if exposed to normal conditions. In this case, the personnel conducting the blood drawing would prefer finishing the process as soon as possible to avoid the sample from going to waste. However, if the technician rushes through the process too much, he or she may preemptively sterilize the area used for the blood draw, causing some of the sterilizing solution to mix with the blood sample and affect its consistency.
Improper Traffic Stops
Before officers can proceed to sample blood or conduct any other DUI-related activities on a person, they must first pull a suspected driver aside through a DUI traffic stop. Of course, officers can only conduct said traffic stop if they have probable cause to do so in the first place. The defense lawyer can argue that the stop was conducted without following proper procedures, or it lacked any probable cause in the first place. This is one is more of a general DUI defense, though it can still apply in this situation.
Blood test results affect DUI cases immensely, but they don’t always ensure a conviction. Talk with your Las Vegas DUI lawyer about how to better deal with such DUI charges.