Austin DWI Blood Test Defense Attorney
Over the years, I have successfully defended hundreds of driving under the influence (“DUI”) charges, also referred to as driving while intoxicated (“DWI”). Over that same time, my offer has remained constant: top-quality legal defense at an affordable rate, delivered in a manner that treats you with dignity and respect. While my offer hasn’t changed, the specifics of DUI/DWI defense have changed. Over the years, new tests and technologies relating to DUI/DWI evidence have emerged. To ensure that my clients receive the strongest defense possible, I have dedicated my practice to understanding the science behind these new technologies and how the law applies to them. One of these technologies that has risen to prominence in the prosecution’s toolkit is the DUI blood test.
What is a Blood Test?
Like a breathalyzer, a blood test is a method of testing your BAC following an arrest for suspicion of DUI. When the police take a blood sample for the blood test, a medical professional will draw a blood sample from your arm into a vial where it will then be sent to a lab for analysis. The lab will run tests to determine the BAC content of the blood.
Why the Blood Test?
Blood tests provide greater accuracy than breathalyzers in determining blood alcohol content. As a result, police officers will often collect a blood sample following an arrest for suspicion of DUI as the lower margin of error translates to stronger evidence in their favor if the BAC is over 0.08. Although collecting a blood sample is usually discretionary, Texas law requires blood tests to be conducted for a DUI arrest in the following circumstances:
- when the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI with two previous convictions for DUI, intoxicated assault, or intoxicated manslaughter
- when the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI with a child passenger
- when the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI following an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death
Outside of these three scenarios, there is no requirement for the police to conduct a blood test.
How to Fight a Blood Test
Having a blood test come back over the 0.08 BAC limit is a gut-wrenching experience. However, it is not the end of the road. There are many ways to challenge blood tests in court. I have significant experience in challenging the use of a blood test as evidence of intoxication through the following defenses:
- Failure to Seek a Blood Test Warrant — Under Texas law, if you are arrested and refuse to submit to a blood test, the police must apply for and obtain a warrant to draw your blood for the blood test. By identifying the police’s failure to obtain a warrant, or failure to properly obtain a warrant, I can fight on your behalf to suppress the blood test.
- Failure to Timely Collect a Blood Sample –: When you are arrested for DUI and the police seek a blood test, their timeliness to do so can expose the blood test to scrutiny. Blood tests measure your BAC for the specific time that they are drawn. Blood tests do not indicate what your BAC was an hour prior. Due to the way, the body breaks down alcohol, and other potential circumstances in your case, the timing of your blood test to your arrest may allow me to challenge the evidentiary value of the blood test.
- Failure to Properly Collect a Blood Sample–: Police and medical professionals must follow strict protocol when collecting a blood sample. Medical equipment utilized to draw your blood sample must be sterile and free of foreign contamination. The vial utilized to store your blood sample must be clean and free of foreign contamination. The vial must be properly sealed to ensure that the sample does not become contaminated with foreign material. There is a multitude of requirements that medical professionals and police must follow when collecting a blood sample, and failure to do so is grounds to challenge the blood sample’s validity.
- Failure to Properly Store a Blood Sample –: Once the blood sample has been obtained for the blood test, the blood sample must be treated in an extremely cautious manner, such as ensuring that the temperature stays within a tight range to ensure the BAC stability within the sample. Failure to properly store the blood sample allows me to challenge the validity of the blood test’s results.
- Failure to Prove Chain of Custody –: From blood sample drawn to testing, the sample must be accounted for at all times by all people involved. Failure of the police to properly provide a chain of custody means that the blood sample could have been tainted, improperly handled, or suffered another issue that renders it insufficient. I will meticulously review the chain of custody to ensure that every proper step was taken in the handling of the blood sample and will aggressively challenge chain of custody violations.
Due to the strict rules surrounding obtaining and storing a blood sample for a blood test, having a blood test return a BAC in excess of the legal limit is not an open and shut case for the prosecution. An experienced DUI attorney will methodically review all aspects of the blood sample collection, handling, and testing to identify grounds for challenge.
Austin DUI/DWI Blood Test Defense Attorney
As an experienced DUI/DWI defense attorney, I have dedicated myself to understanding how to systematically challenge all evidence against you, particularly blood tests. If you have been arrested for suspicion of DUI/DWI, please contact my office as soon as possible for a free consultation.
I represent clients throughout the State of Texas with focus on Travis County, Austin, and the following rural counties: Austin, Bastrop, Burleson, Caldwell, Colorado, Gonzales, Hays, Lavaca, Lee, Washington, Wharton and Williamson counties.