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Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Goldblatt Esq.

How Accurate Are DUI Blood Tests in Testing Sobriety?

By JWGLAWYER on October 15, 2015

A drink and car keysHere at the Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Goldblatt Esq., we take all cases seriously and strive to help all people in their time of legal need. Anyone in and around East Brunswick who's been accused of drunk driving can rely on our legal team to provide expert advice and counsel every step of the way.

One important part of a winning DUI defense strategy is considering the nature of the arrest and what kinds of sobriety tests were used to assess intoxication. One common test is the blood test, which we'd like to consider right now. As you are about to learn, a blood test can be seriously flawed.

About Blood Tests for BAC

Blood tests are a way of law enforcement measuring the BAC of drivers that they suspect are under the influence of alcohol. These kinds of tests are administered at the police station following arrest.

The other options for blood tests involve the use of a breathalyzer and a test for alcohol content in a person's urine.

How Blood Tests Are Performed

Blood is drawn from the person accused of drunk driving. This blood is then stored and tested at a forensic lab using a machine known as a gas chromatograph. This will analyze the concentration of alcohol in the blood sample and provide the lab technicians with a BAC reading.

How accurate are blood test results?

While blood tests for intoxication are somewhat accurate, they are also subject to a number of potential inaccuracies for a variety of reasons. Just because a blood test says that you were driving with a BAC over the legal limit, it may actually be wrong.

Remember, the accuracy of these sobriety tests can be questioned, especially since false positives can occur and lead to harsh punishments for people who do not deserve them. This is why exercising your legal rights and speaking with a DUI defense attorney is so important.

How Potential Blood Test Inaccuracies May Arise

There are number of factors to keep in mind that may result in false positives and outright incorrect numbers.

  • Problems with the Collection of the Blood Sample – The people who take the blood sample at the police station are not always the best trained, particularly when compared to medical professionals at a clinic or a hospital. There is the possibility of human error or blood sample contamination simply in the process of having your blood drawn.

  • Problems with the Storage of the Blood Sample – After a blood sample is taken, it needs to be analyzed. The blood sample is stored away, which means that the sample can be compromised simply from improper handling and storage or even just regular storage. Fermentation can occur in the sample, increasing the amount of alcohol that would be detected during analysis.

  • Issues with the Gas Chromatograph – The gas chromatograph may be improperly maintained or improperly calibrated for a variety of reasons. Being off in these ways means that issues with accuracy that may result in a higher BAC than what is actually present in the sample.

  • Human Error on the Part of the Lab Technician – In addition to human error affecting the collection of the blood sample, human error by the lab technician can also lead to problems with the final BAC read.

  • A Combination of Any of the Above – Multiple errors and accidents can occur during a given arrest, resulting in issue with BAC.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

For more information about your legal options following a drunk driving arrest, it's important that you contact our personal injury law firm today. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Goldblatt Esq., our team will help you mount a robust legal defense.

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