Defending a DUI Blood Test Case
If you were arrested in Colorado on suspicion of drunk driving, and chose to take a blood test—you were taken to either a hospital, fire department, ambulance, or another location where a certified phlebotomist, typically a nurse or EMT, was available to draw your blood—then you may have been charged with DUI and DUI per se.
At your blood draw, the police department should have provided a “blood kit” to the phlebotomist. This blood kit contains 2 tubes, a needle, and an alcohol-free swab to clean the area. The blood kit must be certified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Importantly, the phlebotomist should have drawn two tubes of blood—one for the prosecutor and one for you to analyze independently. You have the right to have your blood retested at an independent laboratory to challenge the prosecutor’s tests.
While blood testing is considered a reliable source for determining blood alcohol content, there are errors that may cause an inaccurate and elevated reading, such as:
- the blood kit was not properly certified as required by Colorado law;
- the person who drew your blood did not follow protocol;
- the blood tubes may not have been properly sealed;
- there may have been contamination when the blood was drawn;
- the blood tubes may not have had the proper chemicals inside to preserve your blood for an accurate BAC reading;
- the amount of blood drawn may be insufficient for testing;
- the blood may not have been properly stored or refrigerated;
- the chain of custody may have been compromised;
- the lab analyst testing your blood may not be properly trained in chemistry and toxicology;
- your blood sample may have been mixed up with another DUI suspect;
- the lab analyst may have contaminated the blood when preparing it for testing;
- the lab analyst may not have mixed the proper amount of control chemical with your blood;
- the data from the test may not have be interpreted properly;
- another compound in your blood may have been improperly interpreted as being ethyl alcohol.
Even a small mistake in the process of blood testing, from the initial blood draw to the testing of the blood sample at the state lab, could affect the credibility of the blood test results. An experienced DUI defense attorney will know how to use these errors to develop a defense against Colorado DUI charges.
While not all DUI blood samples have errors, it is important to have an experienced DUI defense attorney evaluate the reports and information associated with the blood draw to ensure that any problems with the blood test are used strategically to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.