Are DWI/DUI Blood Tests Considered Valid in Passaic County Courts?

Disproving a DWI/DUI blood alcohol test

If you or someone you know is charged with  “Driving While Intoxicated” (DWI) or  “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI), here are some facts.  First, in New Jersey, there is no difference between a DWI and DUI. Second, whether your charge is based on drug or alcohol consumption, the prosecution and sentencing are the same.  And third, a DWI or DUI conviction has not only immediate consequences (detainment, surcharges, license suspension, fees and program requirements), but also life-long consequences that can affect your family and livelihood.

Clifton Lawyers Explain How DWI or DUI Is Determined

Onsite DWI testing is subjective
Onsite DWI testing is subjective

The important question, then, is: How is DWI or DUI really determined?  Officers have several observation techniques. They can also call for more invasive tests (like urine and blood tests) .  Testing can be subjective, depending on the officer’s determination. It can also be negatively affected by your age, weight, medical and weather conditions.

So while no tests are perfect in every situation, blood tests are considered the most accurate tests for discovering the amount of alcohol or drugs in your body. This article reviews a few issues that can weaken the reliability of a blood alcohol test as evidence.

Wayne Attorneys Refuse Blood Alcohol Tests for DWI/DUI

This article is not a technical evaluation. Its purpose is to inform you about blood test issues that can raise doubts about the validity of the test as reliable evidence of DWI/DUI.  The simple fact is that analyses aren’t always valid.  If you’re charged with DWI/DUI or with additional charges like disorderly conduct or resisting arrest, contact an attorney. Likewise, if it seems like the application of the law has been unfair, discriminatory or resulted in mistreatment, an attorney will explain your rights.

Having an experienced attorney for a strong defense is important. Contact Del Sardo & Montanari at 973-233-4396 for guidance and representation.

Lawyers Review Assumptions About Blood Alcohol Testing in West Milford NJ

The premise of blood testing as reliable evidence of intoxication is based on two important assumptions.  One is the integrity of the blood sample and the other is the integrity of the lab.

Integrity Of The Blood Sample

The idea is that the blood being analyzed is exactly the same as the blood that is in your vein in the moment it’s drawn. The law requires that the integrity of your blood sample be maintained from collection to analysis to reporting. However, the reality is that this is seldom assured and it can adversely affect your test results.

Integrity Of The Lab

Determine the condition of the blood sample for DWI / DUI alcohol testing
Determine the condition of the blood sample for DWI alcohol testing

It’s probably a safe bet that most forensic labs try to maintain quality standards. However, there are few requirements to report the actual rate of errors involved in internal processes.  In science, these conditions tend to invalidate, or at least shed doubt on the quality of the procedure. Any doubt will serve to seriously weaken the certainty of your test results.

Forensic labs working for law enforcement have been accused of not being as concerned with adhering to proper scientific procedures, as compared to medical labs working for health centers and doctors. As a result, be aware that these forensic labs sometimes report arbitrary and scientifically invalid results of blood alcohol concentration levels.

Some Other Shortcomings To Blood Testing for Little Falls DWI/DUI

Mishandling the Sample- Mishandling of your sample can compromise its integrity which usually affects your test results. For example, if your sample is left unprocessed for too long and under improper conditions, it could begin to decompose or even ferment.  This could distort your blood test results and lead to a false high reading.

Time Delays- This could be the amount of time passed between when you were stopped and when you were tested or the amount of time between when your blood was drawn and when it was tested.  Either way, it’s possible that your test results will show a lower level of blood alcohol concentration (as compared to when you were actually pulled over).

Blood testing results are NOT always as accurate as people think.

Cross Contamination- The different processes in forensic analytical procedures are often conducted in different bottles and tubes and in different areas of the lab.  It’s possible that the way the routine was conducted on your blood sample could have lead to errors, particularly if the laboratory doesn’t follow proper record-keeping and organizational procedures.

Besides what may or may not happen in a law enforcement forensic lab, another cause for distorted analyses and wrong reporting of your results is the alcohol swab. It’s for your protection, but the swab used to sanitize your skin before the sample is taken can itself stimulate an adverse result in your blood test.

Diabetics, Cough Syrup, Herbal Medicine- Your innocent consumption of most over-the-counter cough syrups or herbal medicines could also contribute to a false positive in your blood alcohol test.  This happens because these medications tend to contain relatively high amounts of alcohol. It’s not enough to inebriate you, but it certainly could affect your test. If you are diabetic, you are much more susceptible than a non-diabetic as far as obtaining erroneous results to blood alcohol tests in a DWI/DUI situation. Diabetics typically have to have a higher ketone level in their blood which tends to show a higher concentration in the result.

Remember, a DWI/DUI conviction will stay with you for the rest of your life.  While blood testing is considered to be the most reliable form of chemical testing, it is possible to invalidate your blood alcohol test if you can show that any of the conditions described here apply in your case.

Contact an experienced and knowledgeable DWI / DUI attorney.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DWI or DUI in New Jersey, you can fight the allegations by showing that the evidence is false. Consult with the law firm of Del Sardo & Montanari 973-233-4396 for guidance from qualified NJ defense attorneys who will evaluate all the defenses available. Ask for an initial free consultation today and get clarification about your circumstances.

 

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