Upon accepting a new client, a good DUI lawyer in Arizona already anticipates the challenges that can mount of the client subjected him or herself to a breathalyzer. These include mouth alcohol, radio frequency interference, and interfering substances, although the list can go on. If the client took a blood test, however, too many a DUI lawyer in Arizona will just give up hope and accept the test results. It doesn’t have to be that way, as creative approaches can instill doubt into any blood test. Let’s take a look at a few of the strategies.
A DUI lawyer in Arizona who wishes to dispute such a test should first start by looking at the materials used to collect the blood specimen. In inappropriate materials were used, it can make a big difference that may result in the validation of your client.
Most agencies drawing for blood use some type of partially evacuated blood collection tube, such as the Vacutainer from Becton-Dickenson. These tubes are sold with a variety of additives inside, depending on the type of test for which the sample has been collected. The appropriate tube for such a test contains a mixture of sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate. Usually these tubes are intended for blood glucose approximations and typically have a gray stopper. Stoppers for other tubes have different colors.
If the blood alcohol result of the client of the DUI lawyer in Arizona is derived from a tube designed for a different type of analysis, the result may be inaccurate due to interference with the different chemicals within the tubes, or from the separation of the blood into plasma or serum. Remember, plasma is the blood minus the blood cells. Always check which type of tube is used for collection, as a mistake can be used as leverage by a meticulous DUI lawyer in Arizona.
Also realize that these tubes have a shelf life and an expiration date. After the date is expired, the vacuum depletes, which may result in contaminants from the surrounding air. This results in less than the full amount of blood necessary to conduct a conclusive test, called a “short draw.” This can also happen if the technician pulled the tube off of the needle before it had completely filled, introducing microbe contaminants into the tube. In blood cases, it is critical that a DUI lawyer in Arizona always check the expiration date as well as the appropriate amount of blood for the size of the tube. If it less, the accuracy of the blood ethanol result can be quite readily disputed in a court of law.
Skin Prep and Alcohol Swabs
Prior for drawing blood for alcohol tests, the skin must be wiped with a swab that does not contain alcohol, meaning not only ethanol, but other alcohols such as isopropanol or rubbing alcohol. The swab is important to kill any microbes that might contaminate the sample. It is important that the swab be done in an outward spiral to remove the microbes away from the punctured site. Ask the person who drew the blood sample to demonstrate their technique, as many do so incorrectly in a way that leads to contaminated and incorrect samples. If the swab contained alcohol, it can also contaminate the sample and can give a DUI lawyer in Arizona ample room to insert doubt into the prosecution’s case.
About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona DUI lawyer, visit our site.