After having had a few beers with some old friends at the local tavern, you hop into your car, only to find yourself pulled over for suspicion of OWI. You remember your friend or relative telling you that you should never take any chemical test and that you are better off refusing any test. Be careful with what you believe.
In some states, you may be better off refusing any requested chemical test. In Indiana, that may not be the best advice. Typically, if you refused to submit to a breath test, you would not be providing additional evidence that could potentially be used against you at trial.
Recently, in Indiana, if you refuse a requested breath test, law enforcement officials are now securing search warrants from duty judges whereby they can forcibly take a blood sample from you to determine your blood alcohol concentration.
So, even if you decide you want to take your OWI case to trial, you now may be better off submitting to the requested breath test instead of having a warrant issued to test your blood. Breath tests tend to be less reliable and are easier to attack at trial than blood tests.
OWI Blood Test Defenses
Even if a blood draw was performed on you the night of your arrest, defenses are still available to challenge the admissibility of the blood test.
Collection of Blood
You first analyze the manner in which your blood was collected and drawn. Drawing a person’s blood is a sensitive and precise medical procedure. Most of the time, it will not be a trained physician that will take your blood sample. Typically, a blood draw is performed by medical personnel with a limited background or training in the medical field. Due to their inexperience, blood draws may be taken in a manner that compromises the integrity of the sample and thus making it invalid.
Storage of Blood Sample
Improper storage and maintenance of the blood sample may also lead to inaccurate results. Fermentation is the process where alcohol is created. Blood samples contain all the necessary conditions to allow for fermentation. Thus, delays or even slight changes in temperature could increase the chances of fermentation and falsely report a higher alcohol concentration than what was actually present in your blood.
Testing of Blood Sample
A device known as a gas chromatograph is normally the machine used to analyze the blood sample. The user of the device can dictate the manner in which the device is employed, thus potentially creating compounds that could incorrectly be reported as alcohol.
Another issue with the gas chromatograph is that it cannot determine if the alcohol detected was present in the person’s vein at the time the sample was taken or whether the alcohol was formed afterward (ie., during potential fermentation of the blood sample taken).
No matter your blood test results say, do not jump to the conclusion that you have to plead guilty. Call Suhre & Associates, LLC and have our attorneys review your results to determine the best course of action for you and your case.