Administering a blood test to determine a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level occurs before he/she charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Ann Arbor. Though blood tests are highly accurate and reliable, errors often occur thus making the test results inadmissible for drunk driving prosecution.
For instance, the Los Angeles Times recently reported that in Orange County, California, the Orange County Crime Lab found errors in its blood-alcohol testing. The lab acknowledged inaccurate blood alcohol tests results in 2,200 drunk driving cases filed by the prosecution throughout the past year. Read on to learn more about challenging a BAC blood test.
Common Challenges to a BAC Blood Test
Skin Cleanse Contamination
Before a blood sample is taken, an alcohol swab is applied against the skin. If the alcohol from the swab enters the needle, it may contaminate the sample as a result of the draw si not being completely dry. Further, if the substance of the swab is measured by the blood testing instrument as ethyl alcohol, then the results may be deemed inconclusive.
Blood Sample Clot
The presence of clots in the blood sample may artificially increase the reported alcohol concentration. This usually occurs when a blood sample is collected in a non-gray top tube which contains anticoagulant. If an anticoagulant is not in the tube used to collect the blood, a whole blood sample will be clotted. Though this does not affect the amount of alcohol in the blood sample, the method to extract the alcohol level may reduce the initial amount of alcohol contained within the sample. This may result in the BAC results being lower than the limit.
Improper Package of Blood Sample & Lack of FDA Approval
Sometimes, expired blood collection tubes may be used to collect blood samples. If the tubes are expired, the BAC results cannot be trusted. Further, if the gray top tubes are not FDA approved and the company cannot provide proof that the tubes were FDA approved, then the results should not be trusted as well.
If you have been arrested for an OWI/OWPD in Washtenaw County, contact Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney Stacey Washington to help you navigate through this difficult situation in your life. Stacey Washington has helped clients mitigate any long-term consequences of drunk
driving charges and convictions.
Orange County Crime Lab finds more errors in its DUI blood testing
Claims and Responses to Common Challenges and Defenses in Driving While Impaired Cases