When a person is pulled over and arrested on suspicion of DUI in Arizona, they may be asked to take a blood test to determine how much alcohol is in their system. Due to Arizona’s implied consent law, which is outlined in Arizona Revised Statute 28-1321, a driver has the right to refuse this test, but not without a one- to two-year license suspension penalty. Thus, most people submit to this or another chemical test.
If you have submitted to a DUI blood test and your sample has tested positive for a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more, you may be wondering if there is any hope at all to beat your charges. Thankfully, there is. Just because your test returned a positive result does not mean that you don’t still have a legal defense. Blood tests often return false positive results because there are so many ways for a sample to become contaminated, compromising the integrity of the test.
Here are some of the ways that a blood sample can return inaccurate results:
- Sample collection errors. Incorrect blood draws have been shown to produce false positives in more than 50 percent of cases. If the blood draw is performed by someone with little medical training (as they often are in DUI cases), the chances of introducing contaminants into the sample increase. A common example of sample contamination results when the suspect is swabbed with ethyl alcohol rather than a non-alcohol-based sterilization solution. If a test is designed to detect the presence of alcohol, then it should be obvious that alcohol should not be used on a person’s skin when blood is drawn!
- Sample storage errors. Samples that are incorrectly stored before and during testing could also lead to false positives. If sample containers are not properly sterilized or closed, the blood sample could ferment due to the presence of bacteria, yeast, or sugar in the blood. Furthermore, samples must be treated with the proper amount of anticoagulant in order to keep it from clotting or otherwise becoming unfit for testing. Also, the longer it takes for a lab to analyze a sample, the higher the risk to the integrity of the sample.
These errors are unfortunately not uncommon, and often result in the wrongful convictions of people with BACs that were actually within the legal limit. With your driving privileges and your freedom at stake, it is imperative that you contact a Phoenix DUI lawyer at Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C. as soon as possible to request a free consultation. We know the legal defenses that result in success when it comes to challenging blood test evidence and are prepared to zealously defend you. We’ve helped hundreds of people, and we can help you too.
We are available 24/7 – Call (602) 842-6762 now for immediate help.