How Reliable Are Blood Test Results In DUI Cases?
Blood test results in DUI cases are highly reliable. They’re a lot more reliable than breathalyzer tests. However, you can attack a blood test result through chain of custody. When blood is taken from a person, it has to be taken according to the proper medical procedures. There can be no cross contamination between blood samples, it must be stored in the proper location for the proper amount of time, and there has to be a record of which locations the sample was sent to and/or transferred. This information is required in order to establish chain of custody. There can’t be a period of time where we don’t know where the blood was; it has to be accounted for the entire time. So, while there are ways to attack blood test results, the blood tests themselves (when conducted properly) are much more accurate than breathalyzer tests.
Have You Handled Any Cases Where You Utilized Experts To Attack Breath Or Blood Test Results?
Yes, I’ve handled cases in which I utilized experts to attack breath or blood test results. I’ve done so both as a defense attorney and as a prosecuting attorney. There was a case that involved an accident in which a number of people were injured, and the defense attorney hired an expert to attack the validity of the machine itself. As a prosecutor, I hired an expert who essentially said that the machine had operated correctly.
As a defense attorney, I handled a case in which the breathalyzer reading was just slightly above a concentration of 0.08. Because of that, I hired an expert to go after the machine itself. With the help of that expert, we made the argument that anything affecting the machine could have caused a small variance sufficient to register a concentration just above the concentration of 0.08.
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