DUI Blood Tests in California 

June 4, 2019

When a driver is pulled over in California and the police officer suspects that he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver can choose to have either a blood or breath test. These tests are designed to determine the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Readings of more than .08% will result in a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. Here’s what you need to know about a DUI blood test California.

Is a Blood Test Accurate?

A good DUI lawyer will always raise concerns about DUI blood test accuracy. The readings received on these tests can vary from your actual blood alcohol level by between 4% and 10%. This means that even though the test says you were driving under the influence, your actual BAC may have been well below the legal limit.

External factors can also affect the accuracy of a DUI blood test. For example, if the skin is swabbed with ethyl alcohol by a technician before the sample is drawn, it could cause a falsely elevated reading.

What Are the Laws Associated With a DUI Blood Test?

A blood test to screen for DUI must be administered according to certain state regulations. The test must be performed by a licensed medical technician, properly combined with preservative and anti-coagulant solutions, labeled correctly and stored for at least one year.

What Should I Do if I Am Charged?

You have the right to seek independent lab testing of your BAC blood test results. These independent findings are admissible in court and may prove your innocence in a DUI case. The DUI blood test results time is usually about four to six weeks, so make sure to plan accordingly when it comes to your court date.

Additional Information on DUI Testing

When you drive in California, you have already consented to be tested for alcohol or drugs if you are under suspicion for driving under the influence. The most common tests are blood and breath tests, but in certain cases a urine sample may be taken.  If the DUI test resultsshow a BAC of more than .08%, and you have already taken a preliminary alcohol screening or a breath test, you could still be required to take a blood or urine test, if the officer believes you may be under the influence of the drugs. This is because the PAS or a breath test does not measure drug levels.

At this time, you do not have the right to request the presence of an attorney before completing a test, even though you might not understood what is a DUI blood test. Essentially, a sample of your blood is taken and then measured for the percentage of alcohol or drugs present.  Refusing to submit to a blood or urine test could result in your driving privileges being suspended.

Facts on Penalties

The penalties for a DUI conviction are severe. A first-time offense typically costs between $400-1,000 in fines. You could also face up to six months in jail, and your vehicle could be impounded and subject to storage fees. You will be required to complete a DUI driving program. Penalties for DUIs are progressive and increase if the BAC reaches certain thresholds and for repeated offenses.

Information on Avoiding DUIs

The best course of action is to not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you plan to be out drinking make sure to arrange a safe way home, such as calling a taxi or having a friend who is not drinking take the wheel. If you do get arrested, make sure to contact professional legal help. Learning how to avoid DUIconvictions will save you a lot of trouble and money.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in California after submitting to a blood test, you need the advice of an experienced lawyer for reckless driving. He or she can gather the necessary evidence to advocate on your behalf for lower penalties or even case dismissal.