DUI Blood Test

DUI Blood Test - With or Without Your Consent

DUI Blood Draw

The blood draw is typically done at a hospital, medical clinic, or sometimes, in a medical aid car/ambulance. The blood draw may only be performed by a physician, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, nursing assistant, physician assistant, first responder, emergency medical technician, health care assistant, or technician trained in withdrawing blood (phlebotomist).

Currently, officers are not trained to draw blood, but in at least one state (Arizona) officers may draw blood from the driver and often do so while the driver is seated in the back of the patrol car!

Note that if you are in an accident and are unconscious, the officers have authority to take your blood without your permission under the law. This was established to ensure the officers have a way to collect evidence without having to wait for you regain consciousness in order to give permission, because the longer the officer waits, the less active the drug will be in your system.

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How long does it take to get DUI blood test results?

After blood is drawn for a DUI Blood Test, it is delivered to the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory (WSTL) for analysis. It usually takes at least 6 months before the result is reported to the officer, who then reports it to the prosecutor (and DOL if alcohol is present above .08). This causes a delay between the date of the arrest and the filing of charges. That delay can take several weeks to months.

How is the blood sample tested?

Linda M. Callahan

Method of analysis

The method of analysis of the blood is called “selected ion monitoring gas chromatography mass-spectrometry.”

Ms. Callahan has extensive experience in gas chromatography, having received advanced training at Axion Labs in Chicago. She understands that blood testing is subject to a multitude of errors in the analytical process, whereas most attorneys (judges and prosecutors included) believe that blood testing is the “gold standard” of alcohol/drug testing and is virtually unassailable.

Nothing could be further from the truth. A lawyer trained in the science that underlies the analytical process knows what problems and errors to look for in reviewing the work of the State Toxicology Laboratory. It takes that level of knowledge to find the thread that will unravel the prosecution’s case. Only a few lawyers in Washington State have availed themselves of this critically important training, which is so necessary to defending a marijuana and Drug DUI cases.

“Tough DUI Laws Require Tough DUI Lawyers”

Linda M. Callahan

Implied Consent Laws and DUI Blood Testing

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How Implied Consent Applies to You

If you drive in the state of Washington, you are presumed to have already consented to a breath test upon a lawful arrest. This is known as Washington’s Implied Consent Law. In essence, this law states that simply by driving in Washington, you impliedly agree to take a breath test when under arrest for DUI, and that if you refuse, you will lose your license. Thus, whether you refuse the test or you take the test and blow at or over the legal limit, there will be consequences.

Warrant for Blood

Whether the person submits to testing, refuses testing, or blood samples are obtained by search warrant, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will revoke or suspend the driver regardless of whether a case has been filed in court charging the person with a crime, unless the driver timely requests a hearing to challenge the action and prevails. In general, the consequences of refusing a test are usually more severe than if you take the test and do not pass it.

A serious consequence of refusing a breath test is a higher mandatory minimum jail sentence; another serious consequence of refusing to take a breath test is:

  • A 2-year license revocation for a first refusal
  • A 3-year license revocation for a refusal if you have a prior offense within 7 years
  • A 4-year revocation for a refusal following 2 or more prior offenses in a 7-year period.

The Implied Consent Law is Confusing

  • The Court and DOL processes for DUI may seem like a complicated maze; likewise, the Implied Consent Law confuses many drivers.
  • The law requires that the officer inform the driver of this law so that the driver can intelligently make an informed decision whether to blow or not.
  • The police officer either reads the implied consent warnings to the driver or allows the driver to read them. If the driver is confused about the meaning of the warnings and makes that known to the officer, the officer must do something, such as put the driver in touch with an attorney by phone.

If you were not given the implied consent warnings prior to the test or refusal, or if you expressed confusion to the officer and no attempt was made to alleviate your confusion, your breath test result or evidence that you refused the test, may be “suppressed,” meaning it would not be used against you in your DUI trial in court or in your DOL hearing.

  • Unfortunately, the law regarding taking or refusing the breath test can seem complicated. That’s why getting legal advice from Callahan Law, P.S., Inc. is a step in the right direction. Contact our DUI lawyers in Seattle, Tacoma, or Shelton for a free review!

License Suspension

Refusing the Blood Test

If you refuse to take the blood test, the Department of Licensing will revoke your driver’s license for at least one year. In addition, the prosecutor will likely try to use your refusal to take the blood test as evidence that you believed you were guilty, assuming that if you were innocent you would have freely submitted. There are many reasons why a person may not wish to submit to blood testing, including a fear of needles, hospitals, or of an inaccurate analysis. However, it usually does not benefit the driver to refuse the blood test, because even if the test is positive for marijuana or drugs, there are a multitude of things that can go wrong in the taking of the blood, in storing it, and in analyzing it. If there are serious problems in any part of this process, the analysis might not be permitted to be used against you in court.

How Long Does it take to get blood alcohol test results?

Learn more about Blood Testing

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We Challenge The Following Evidence On Every Case.

01

Probable Cause

Before you were asked to step out of your vehicle, the officer has been gathering evidence to support the arrest.

02

Field Sobriety Tests

As Ms. Callahan likes to call them “Bad Science”, FST’s are virtually impossible to pass, especially if the officer is the one grading you.

03

Breath Test - BAC

Factory trained, Linda M. Callahan understands the science behind breath testing most attorneys don’t.

04

Blood Test

With extensive training at Axion Labs in Chicago, Linda M. Callahan has the relevant experience to challenge Blood test evidence.

Let Us Be Your Legal Advocate

Contact one of our Experienced DUI Attorneys today and get the advice you need now.  Learn how to save your license and stay out of jail.

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Disclaimer: The legal information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee.  This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Washington.

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