The science of obtaining blood in a DUI case is not error free. Fighting blood alcohol level DUI charges is possible in an Orange County case.
Fighting blood alcohol level DUI charges – Problems with blood alcohol cases.
The first problem is that blood alcohol levels in the body never stay the same, and many DUI blood test defenses are based around that fact. Alcohol is either being absorbed, which means that the alcohol levels are going up, or are being eliminated, which means that alcohol levels in the body are going down. The peak of blood alcohol rarely lasts more than a minute.
Depending where you are in the process, and notably, whether or not your stomach had food in it, or your hydration levels, can cause blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C.) to go up or down by 0.015% per hour. This is important, because the B.A.C. from a breathalyzer, or from blood drawn from your body, can only state what your blood levels were after driving, sometimes up to three hours after driving. (Under California law, a blood test or breath test can be used to show what your blood alcohol level was at the time of driving up to three hours after driving occurred).
This creates a certain amount of reasonable doubt, or ambiguity, in the blood alcohol levels, allowing us to argue that your blood level was lower at the time you were driving the car – the only legally important timing under the law.
Of course, as you might expect, prosecutors often argue that you were metabolizing the alcohol during the intervening time, and that your blood alcohol level was actually higher at the time of driving.
Or, the district attorney or other prosecutors (Anaheim cases are prosecuted by the City Attorney) may argue that you were still metabolizing alcohol, and that your B.A.C. was actually higher when you were driving. Or, they can even argue that your blood alcohol levels were so high, that even if you were absorbing alcohol, the time period and the high levels would have meant that there is no way you were under the legal limit of a .08% at the time of driving, even if the levels fell.
There is no way to determine, with 100% accuracy, the actual blood alcohol level precisely at the time of driving. Both the prosecutor, and your DUI defense attorney, have limited information.
There are other ways that a breath test or blood test could be inaccurate. The method of obtaining the breath test could have been incorrect, and it’s not uncommon for the methods of obtaining blood from your body to not be according to code. There could be machine error in the testing device, or human error in the chain of custody. In one case we had, the blood vials were switched, and were incorrect. That DUI blood case was dismissed.
Note that the persons that are top of their class in phlebotomy school don’t usually end up as the ones that are in the jail at 3:00 a.m., drawing blood from inmates. They often make procedural errors that lead to DUI blood test defenses.
Fighting blood alcohol level DUI charges might be fruitful, or they may not be. Even with problems, it may not be easy to convince the prosecutor to discount or discredit a blood test result. Showing a prosecutor the patrol car or arrest video, if it shows a person that doesn’t seem intoxicated, might be enough to show that the blood might be a wrong result, and to get the DUI case dismissed.
Fighting blood alcohol level DUI charges at jury trial.
We can also have a jury trial – and the jury has to see evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove a vehicle, and were over the legal limit when you were driving. At a trial, of course we can present evidence, and can challenge the prosecutor’s evidence to show that the case isn’t fully proven.
Fighting blood alcohol level DUI charges is possible. Contact our firm today for help with your DUI case.