Drawing Blood: How a Blood Alcohol Test Can Be Wrong

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Alex H. Lane
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How a blood alcohol test can go wrongBeing asked to give a blood alcohol sample to determine if you are legally intoxicated may feel like the end of the world.  However, there are many cases in which someone has been given this test but the results have been overturned due to problems with the test itself or errors in execution or analysis.  Alex Lane and Lane Law may be able to help a person accused of DUI successfully challenge a blood alcohol test’s results and counter this accusation.

How Are Blood Tests Done?

Blood alcohol content or BAC is the percentage of the blood made up of ethanol.  Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream at different rates by those who drink it.  However, for purposes of charging someone with a crime, lawmakers and courts have agreed that any amount of alcohol in the blood that represents .08 percent or more indicates per se intoxication.

It is important to understand that the law does not state that you are “drunk” at .08 percent BAC and “sober” below that.  It is understood that the higher the blood alcohol percentage, the more likely it is that your actions are affected by the alcohol you have consumed.

A blood alcohol test is a relatively simple procedure.  Blood is drawn from the arm and sent to a lab to be analyzed.  The technician checks the amount of alcohol in the sample using a gas chromatograph.  The resulting number is an estimate of the percentage of alcohol in the blood.

What Could Go Wrong With A BAC Test?

There are many ways a BAC test might not give an accurate reading.  First, it is important that the technician collect two samples so that the person accused of DUI can have independent testing performed.  Without the ability to independently corroborate the results of a blood test, the integrity of the results may be questioned.

Further, the technique used to test a blood alcohol sample must be perfect, or false results can be obtained.  Most labs have very strict protocols for processing blood.

With more than 13 years of experience in criminal and DUI law, Alex Lane can assist those who are facing a drunk driving charge.  Mr. Lane may be able to show that a BAC test was faulty and that the evidence against the client is insufficient to warrant an arrest or a charge.

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