Can You Challenge Blood Test Results for DUI?Dealing with a DUI charge can be an extremely stressful experience. One mistake of getting behind the wheel after a few drinks can cost you months of legal troubles—and maybe even your freedom.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were 11,654 people killed in car crashes where at least 1 driver was intoxicated in 2020. With numbers this high, it is no wonder why law enforcement has been cracking down on cases like these. However, sometimes the driver is actually under the legal limit of intoxication when they are pulled over. While police officers have a duty to enforce DUI laws in order to keep our roads safe, there are instances where they may make assumptions or errors that can lead to false accusations of drunk driving. If you were charged with a DUI and are adamant about your innocence, you should contact an experienced DUI attorney in Bowie or Crofton today.

Why an officer may request a blood sample

There are typically two reasons why an officer would seek a blood test instead of a breath test. The first is that the accused cannot take a breath test; the second is that someone was injured or killed in a crash. In this second scenario, the blood test is mandatory.

Blood alcohol test results are not always accurate

While blood tests are often considered to be more accurate than unreliable breathalyzer tests, they are not infallible. This means that you absolutely can challenge their results. The way the samples are taken, handled, or tested can all have an impact on the accuracy of the results. For example, equipment malfunctions, such as a faulty machine or a poorly maintained lab can play a big role if they simply do not work properly. Contamination or mishandling of blood samples also can lead to inaccurate results. If the blood sample is not properly stored or if the lab technician fails to follow the correct testing procedures, the results may be also compromised. Since blood can coagulate if not stored at the right temperature, problems with refrigeration can also taint a sample. Additionally, inadequate training of technicians can result in errors in the testing process or the interpretation of results.

And all of this is related to the lab itself. You can also challenge the results of a blood draw because:

  • The sample was taken after four hours
  • There were issues in the chain of custody regarding the transfer of the samples
  • Only one sample was drawn
  • A non-qualified person drew the blood
  • You refused the blood test but they took a sample anyway, without a warrant

Given the potential for inaccuracies in blood tests, it is so important to explore all possible avenues for challenging the validity of such evidence in a DUI case.

Avoiding a blood test altogether in Maryland can have consequences

You may have heard people talking about refusing a breathalyzer or blood test if they get pulled over after drinking a few beers so they will not get in any trouble. Unfortunately, Maryland has an “implied consent” law. This essentially means that while a police officer cannot force you to take any kind of sobriety test, they will assume that your refusal means you are guilty. Under the Maryland Transportation Section § 16-205.1, refusal of a sobriety test can result in license suspension for 270 days, up to $500 in fines, and potential jail time—all for a first offense.

If you are asked to consent to any test, call us. You have a legal right to refuse, and we can advocate for your rights from the start.

Talk to an experienced DUI attorney in Bowie or Crofton

If you are facing a DUI charge in Bowie, Crofton, or Calvert County, it is important to remember that you have the right to defend yourself against false accusations and protect your legal rights. Seeking the guidance of an experienced DUI defense attorney can help you mitigate the charges you are facing and potentially challenge the results of a blood test for BAC levels, especially if the office had no probable cause to begin with. A skilled attorney can thoroughly review the evidence and testing procedures involved in your case to identify any potential errors or inaccuracies, bring in experts, and work to develop a strong defense strategy on your behalf. With the right legal representation, you can effectively challenge the evidence against you and potentially achieve a more favorable outcome in your DUI case.

Carey Law Office may be able to help if you have been charged with DUI. Working with a knowledgeable attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case as we have many years of experience handling similar cases. To schedule a consultation, call our offices or fill out our contact form. We maintain offices in Bowie, Crofton, and Owings, and also serve all of Calvert County.