Blood Split Motions
When you are arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, it means there is enough probable cause or evidence for a police officer to proceed with an arrest. Upon being arrested, you will most likely be taken to the local police station where you will undergo a breath, blood, or urine test. Unlike the breathalyzer test that is conducted while stopped in traffic, the breath test that is conducted at the police station is not optional. Under California highway laws, you give consent to a blood alcohol content whenever you are a licensed driver and whenever you drive on a U.S highway. Refusing to undergo a BAC test after an arrest can result in additional charges and penalties in a courtroom.
In a police station, you will more than likely be offered the option to choose either a breath test, a blood test, or a urine analysis. Once you complete either of the three tests mentioned above, the officer in charge of conducting the test will document your BAC reading. If your BAC is over .08 percent, the evidence can and will be used against your favor. There are times when individuals are suspicious of their BAC reading either because they know they did not consume that much alcohol or they believe the BAC is unreasonably high. In either instance, if you took a blood or urine analysis test you are capable of conducting a separate and independent testing on the blood and urine sample,
Individuals who choose a blood or urine analysis test may have the opportunity to later file a “blood split motion”. A blood split motion allows a driver who has undergone a DUI charge to retrieve a sample of their blood or urine so that they may have another agency test the blood alcohol concentration found in blood or urine samples. An attorney is capable of presenting the findings of a separate investigation to help contest the DUI charge. In times when your BAC level reads lower than the BAC levels documented while at the police station, you have the right to challenge the findings in a courtroom.
Police or other processing stations are required by law to hold a sample of your blood or urine so it may be independently tested for accuracy. When you give a blood or urine sample, the processing agent is required to save a sample for the driver. If they fail to save the sample or if the sample is lost, an attorney may be capable of having the blood or urine test removed from being used in a verdict.
In addition, if the blood or urine test is not properly stored or if the blood or urine is cross contaminated, an independent analysis will show that the evidence has tampered and inaccurate. Furthermore, if an independent analysis finds that there were not enough preservatives in the blood or urine sample, the evidence may also be contested.
Drivers who have been charged with a DUI and who have taken either a urine or blood BAC test may benefit from filing a ‘blood split motion’. Unfortunately, if you took a breath test, the conducting officer is not required to hold a sample. However, if you took a breath test there are other ways in which you can fight a breath test. Often times you can contest a breath test if you notice that the officer conducting the test was not following the correct procedures or if you find that the equipment used has not been maintained or calibrated on regular bases. Finding factors that help challenge the findings of a police report is the job of an attorney. An experienced attorney is capable of assessing the situation to find if there is any faulty evidence that may be contested.
If you are charged with a DUI, you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor. In some instances, a misdemeanor DUI will result in many restrictions that may complicate your commute to work, school, and other obligations that require traveling. An experienced attorney is capable of reducing a first, second, and third DUI offense to a wet reckless. A wet reckless usually holds lesser punishments than a DUI conviction and will allow the driver to keep their driving rights.
Individuals who are stopped and charged with a DUI should speak with an attorney to see if there is any way that their charges can be dropped or reduced. If you need the attention of a law expert, you may contact the San Diego DUI Attorney at 619-535-7150. We are ready to help your case and help you maintain your driving privileges. California has very strict driving laws so it is important to have by your side an attorney that is knowledgeable of the different vehicle codes that guide the highway.
How does a Blood Split Motion affect my case?
A blood-split motion may help your attorney establish that there was a violation of Title 17. If upon independent analysis a technician finds that the blood or urine was not properly stored or handled, then an attorney is capable of fighting the charges of a DUI by claiming that the evidence is unreliable. When there is a violation of title 17, there is enough reason to believe that the sample you provided (either blood or urine) may have been affected by an external factor which has produced a false reading. A blood split motion may help the following cases.
- For example, Tommy a responsible California driver is well aware of the traffic laws and entering a bar, he knows he will only drink four beers. Tommy weighs 160 pounds, four beers would not have a huge impact on his blood alcohol content. However, upon driving back home, he is stopped by a police officer and due to his tired looking eyes, he is subject to a breathalyzer. His saliva still moist with beer residue triggers a high alcohol content reading and he is arrested. After the arrest, he provides a blood analysis test and the results show that he was in fact over the legal BAC level at 0.10%.
- Tommy knows that his blood alcohol content could not have been that high. Having done the math correctly, a person like Tommy should be able to drink up to four 12 oz beers in an hour and still be good enough to drive. Tommy’s DUI attorney is suspicious of the BAC test and requests to have a separate sample independently tested. They then discover that his blood alcohol content was not mixed well enough to ensure that the blood is kept from coagulating and/or fermenting. Tommy’s lawyer is then capable of presenting the findings in a courtroom where the charges are dropped.
- In another instance, Ray is coming home from a bar and like Tommy, she is arrested on a false premise. Upon entering the station the police conducts a urine analysis test and finds a BAC reading of 0.09%. She is suspicious of the reading and request that her lawyer file a separate investigation. Since the samples must be stored for up to a year, her lawyer request that the sample is retested. They find that their analysis produced a BAC reading of 0.06% Her lawyer is then able to use this information to attempt to persuade the judge to drop the charges.
California Code of Regulations: Breath, Blood, and Urine
In California, there are a number of things can be contested whenever a law enforcement agent conducts a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. The Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations explains how blood, urine, and breath samples should be collected, analyzed, and reserved. If there is any violation of the strict regulations provided by the Title 17, there is a good reason to contest a DUI charge. Under title 17:
- The blood, breath, and urine samples used to conduct a BAC test, is required by law, to be collected by an authorized person. If the person who has conducted the BAC test is not an authorized officer, there may be a reason to contest the findings of the test. An authorized handler is knowledgeable of the laws that guide Title 17 which means that they know how to properly handle the samples to avoid contamination. A person that is not authorized, may not know of the regulations that guide the collecting and storing procedures. Failing to follow the regulations under title 17 can result in cross-contamination resulting in false readings.
- The person conducting a BAC test must collect enough blood and urine so that two samples may be stored. One sample is to be used by the police lab station while the other sample is to be stored for the driver charged with a DUI. Failing to store enough for two separate investigations is a violation of the law. An experienced attorney may have the sample of blood removed from being used in a courtroom for violation of Title 17 procedures.
- The urine, blood, and breath samples must be collected as soon as possible. Waiting to test the driver can result in a reading that is inaccurate.
- The sample of urine, blood, or breath cannot be contaminated. As mentioned earlier, breath tests readings can be altered when the equipment is not regularly maintained or calibrated. However, if you took a blood or urine test, the samples can be analyzed to ensure that the sample is not cross-contaminated. A contaminated sample can result in high BAC readings. If an independent analysis concludes that the sample is contaminated, then an attorney may remove the sample from being used in a courtroom.
- The container holding the blood or urine sample must have enough preservatives and anticoagulant to ensure that the blood or urine are properly preserved. There are times when there are not enough preservatives in a vial resulting in a high alcohol content. Failing to provide the correct amount of preservatives may allow the blood to ferment resulting in an inaccurate reading. An independent investigation will be capable of testing to see whether the container had enough anticoagulant and preservative. Again, if there is not enough of preservatives in the vial, an attorney may dismiss the sample and it cannot be used to press charges.
- In addition, to have the correct amount of preservatives in a container, the preservative and the container must have been properly mixed with the test sample. This means that the authorized technician must have mixed the container enough times to ensure that the blood/urine and preservatives are properly mixed.
- The draw sight must be clean, but it cannot be cleaned with an alcohol-based disinfectant. If the draw sight is treated with an alcohol-based disinfectant it can alter the BAC reading. Since the test is meant to measure the amount of alcohol in your blood system, any residue of alcohol either on the surface of a counter or in the air can impact the readings of a BAC test.
A thorough investigation of your arrest, sample collection and preservation, and other factors will greatly help your case. A DUI arrest involves many lawful steps and procedures that must be followed under Title 17. Violation of the strict regulations with regards to a BAC test can be reason enough to remove the sample from being used in a courtroom. A blood split motion allows the driver to have a second look at the findings to determine if there was an error or violation of certain principles. If the driver finds that there was a violation of Title 17 after conducting their own investigation, the outcome may result in the dismissal of the case. At the very least, an attorney may be able to drop the charges to a wet-reckless if and when a violation of Title 17 is proved. Of course, every DUI case holds a substantial amount of factors that contribute differently to every case. To have an accurate understanding of your case, you should speak with a local DUI expert.
A breath test unlike the urine analysis and the blood test cannot be “split”. However, when you take a breath test there are a number of factors that could contribute to an incorrect BAC reading. You will want to inform your attorney what type of test you took so that the attorney is capable of prescribing the correct measures to take. If you wish to speak with a law expert about the best way to tackle your case, you are encouraged to contact the San Diego DUI Attorney at 619-535-7150.