Can You Walk Me Through The Blood Test Process?
Someone has a choice of test unless one or the other is unavailable. If I am arrested for a DUI, I am given a choice of tests, and I say I want a blood test. The officer will go ahead and make sure there is the blood test readily available, or have someone head over there and take me to the hospital, or the police station. An expert would show up at some point, and they are supposed to go through a protocol of; 1) it’s supposed to be drawn in a medically approved manner, so it’s supposed to be sterile room where they’re doing the blood draw. Unfortunately, they usually get away with that, but how they prepare for the blood draw, there is a procedure that should be followed, and there are regulations. The expert who draws the blood needs to properly have a blood kit that has all the necessary supplies.
They are supposed to properly clean their area and wash their hands. They are supposed to always use gloves. If they put gloves on and then they start cleaning with that, well now we have dirty gloves. Therefore, there are many different things, and especially if we have a video of a blood draw, where they have contaminated either the gloves or the surface. They are supposed to use a specific type of solution, and let it dry before they put the needle into the area of your arm. If they do it too soon, that can be an issue, because the substance they use to clean the punctured area typically has at least a little bit of alcohol on it, and it is a very minute amount. Once that burns off, there is less of it, and that is a reason they are supposed to wait.
Sometimes, they contaminate that area if they are using gloves that touched other things. In addition, the tourniquet is something that could be an issue. Tourniquets are used repeatedly in these cases, maybe that tourniquet, when they tied it off before they punctured your, maybe one of the ends of the tourniquet contaminated the blood site, and that does happen. Video of that would be important. We know what our defenses are from that contamination of the skin or the puncture area, which can result in a higher blood result than it normally, should be.
Contamination bacterial leads to fermentation, and it leads to having a higher number than you actually are. Therefore, that is a major problem with blood draws. There is a set of steps used in blood draws. It is supposed to be properly labeled with a specific type of a tube, and that is given to an officer, and supposed to be refrigerated at that point. Sometimes, they seal it, they put it in the mailbox, and it takes days to get to the lab. What is the likelihood of getting contamination, with having fermentation in blood that is boiling, or heating up while traveling by mail?
It substantially increases no matter what type of an anticoagulant is in the tube. There is supposed to be sodium fluoride, which is the typical anticoagulant used in these cases. There is supposed to be a certain amount in these tubes before the blood goes in, but if you are getting contamination in these tubes, it is a lot less likely that something like sodium fluoride is going to prevent that. That is how blood draws can go wrong. We try to help our clients by getting cases dismissed, or charges reduced when there are questionable issues with blood draws.
Is A Blood Draw Used If Someone Refuses The Breathalyzer Test?
If someone refuses to do a chemical test, a blood test, or a breath test, then the arresting officers can get a warrant from a judge, which allows them to do a forced blood draw. Therefore, if you refuse to do a chemical test in California after you are arrested for a DUI, you run the risk of losing your license for a year. So, be very careful if you are considering refusing to do a chemical test in California.
Can Police Forcibly Conduct A Blood Draw Upon Refusal?
Yes, they can. They are allowed to hold you down and take your blood.
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