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Breath vs. Blood Test - Which One Should You Take?

Breath vs Blood Test Which One Should You Take.jpgIf an Ann Arbor police officer believes a driver is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, he/she will request for the driver to take a series of field sobriety tests. Depending on the results of the field sobriety tests, the officer will arrest the driver and take him/her down to the police station or a hospital to administer a breath or blood test.

The result of this test will determine whether or not the driver will be charged with driving under the influence. You may be wondering which test you should take? Read on to learn whether you should take a breath or blood test.

Blood Test Overview

The most accurate available test of alcohol or drugs in a person is the blood test. The test results are highly accurate for accessing a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) and/or the presence of drugs. An experienced DUI defense attorney will know how to evaluate and challenge blood test results. For example, if the blood sample was not properly drawn or preserved and sat out for a prolonged period of time prior to being analyzed, this could result in a false reading. In addition, you should also consider how much time has passed since you last consumed any alcohol. Your BAC will sometimes continue to decrease 15 minutes to an hour after you stop drinking. It may be in your best interest to wait to take a blood test to allow yourself more time for your BAC to decrease. However, sometimes alcohol levels rise dramatically long after the last time you consumed alcohol. Therefore, the blood test could result in a much higher BAC than what might have been the case at the time the officer stopped your car. The law presumes that the BAC at the time of the blood test is the same as the BAC at the time you last drove your car.

Breath Test Overview

The breath test performed at the police station is more accurate than the preliminary breath test administered during the DUI stop. The preliminary breath test provides the police officer with probable cause for a DUI arrest. However, the devices used for preliminary breath tests are not always as accurate as the Datamaster machine used at the police station to measure BAC levels. It may take some time for an officer to get you to the police station. Your BAC may rise or fall during the time it takes to get to the station. But, again, the law presumes that the BAC result from the Datamaster is the same BAC as the last time you drove your car.

Breath vs. Blood Test

Under certain circumstances, a blood test may be more open to challenge than a breath test. With a breath test, it is usually hard for an attorney to dispute the accuracy of the test and the machine if the machine was properly maintained and the test was properly administered. Refusing to take either test may harm your case. A refusal could also result in six points on your driving record and a one year suspension. In addition, the arresting officer can obtain a court order to take a sample of your blood if there is probable cause to arrest you for a DUI.

Ultimately, it is your decision whether to take a breath or blood test - or to completely refuse to take any test. Whatever you decide, be prepared for the consequences.

The best way to avoid a DUI is to not drink and drive. If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, you have the right to provide the police with as little information as possible. Just remember to be polite to the police at all times. Contact my law office to discuss your DUI case in confidence and to retain my services. Call 734-274-6567 to speak with me directly.

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