Blood Tests and Blood Testing in Atlanta, Georgia
As discussed previously, if you are arrested in this state for DUI, Georgia law requires you to submit to chemical testing of your breath, blood, or urine to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs. Blood tests are most commonly requested when the officer believes that a person may be under the influence of drugs, or that a person may be impaired by some substance in addition to alcohol. This can include illegal and legal drugs. A blood test may also be requested when a physical limitation or medical condition prevents you from submitting to a breath test. Your Atlanta DUI Lawyer will be able to investigate your case and help interpret the blood test result in your Atlanta DUI Case.
Blood testing is generally considered the most reliable method of determining a person's blood alcohol concentration. Blood alcohol results may be inaccurate, though, for many reasons including the possibility of human error during testing and handling of the sample, machine malfunction or improper maintenance of the machine, and variations in results when plasma is tested rather than whole blood. Another potential error can be the result of a break in the chain of custody insofar as the blood sample is concerned. An Atlanta DUI Attorney can check to see if your blood test is accurate and there was a proper chain of custody.
The State must prove the chain of custody in obtaining, handling, and testing the blood sample in order to admit the results of the test into evidence. This requirement is to ensure that the sample was, in fact, your own blood and that there was no possibility that the sample was switched with another person's blood. An Atlanta GA DUI lawyer will attack the State's ability to prove each of these elements. Also your DUI Lawyer in Atlanta will challenge the probable cause to arrest in your case. If your DUI Attorney in Atlanta successfully challenges the probable cause to arrest, then the case will be dismissed, regardless of the blood test result.
Challenges can also be made when the test results do not distinguish between isopropyl and ethanol. Isopropyl alcohol is used to sterilize the skin prior to drawing the blood. If isopropyl alcohol is drawn into the syringe along with your blood, the results may be affected. A failure to distinguish the type of alcohol found in the blood makes the results unreliable. To mount this type of defense, it will be necessary for your DUI Attorney in Atlanta to hire an expert witness. The witness can testify about how the introduction of Isopropyl alcohol can exaggerate your blood alcohol level. Your Atlanta GA DUI Attorney has a list of expert witnesses who are scientifically trained on the differences in similar alcohols and how different alcohols can appear to be ethanol.
When you are suspected of driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs, the test results may actually be the best evidence in your defense. For marijuana cases, certain metabolites are tested for to show the presence of marijuana in your blood. The metabolites routinely tested for, though, are not psychoactive and do not cause impairment. Also, many marijuana metabolites are still present in your blood days or even weeks after you last used the drug. An Atlanta DUI attorney will use your blood test results to show that the deficiencies in the State's case and show that they have not proven that you were actually impaired by the drug when you were driving the night you were arrested.
In prescription drug DUI cases, the blood test results should show that the levels of the drug in your system and testimony by an expert witness can be used to determine what those levels would be at a prescribed dosage. If you were lawfully prescribed the medication, your Atlanta DUI lawyer can argue that your blood test results show that your results were within the therapeutic levels for that drug.
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