California law prohibits driving a motor vehicle, boat, or even a jet ski if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over 0.08 percent. When you are pulled over for a DUI in California, the police may expect you to take a breath test or a blood test to reveal your BAC. The results of these tests are given great weight by the prosecutor and the court, even though the tests may be performed incorrectly.
If the police draw your blood to determine your BAC, they must keep the sample preserved for future testing. Your DUI attorney can file a motion to have a “blood split” performed. A blood split is an independent test of the blood sample that can reveal many things. For example, a blood split may reveal:
- that your BAC was under 0.08 % at the time of your arrest;
- that the blood sample was contaminated;
- that an “alcohol swab” was used to cleanse your arm before the blood was drawn;
- that your blood sample was switched with someone else’s; and/or
- that the blood sample had insufficient preservative, allowing the blood to ferment and create its own alcohol or clot.
Any of these factors call into question your BAC at the time of your arrest. Since California drunk driving laws rely heavily on your BAC when you were arrested for DUI, a blood split that can demonstrate your BAC is not reliable or was below the legal limit can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal in a DUI case.
If you are arrested for DUI, we normally tell our clients to insist on a breath test (as breath machines, commonly called an “Intoxilyser” or “Breathalyser,” do not retain a sample and they are less accurate than a blood test). However, if you took a blood test, a reanalysis of the blood sample at our independent lab is an important step toward defending yourself against the DUI charge in court. Equally important is the assistance of an experienced California DUI lawyer. The skilled criminal defense and DUI lawyers at Sitkoff & Hanrahan know how to handle BAC evidence and use a blood split to your best advantage in defending your case. If you are facing DUI charges, please call Sitkoff & Hanrahan today at 1-866-430-8383 to discuss your case.