When a person submits to a blood alcohol test following a DWI arrest, most people believe that the results will be irrefutable. However, there are certain circumstances where a blood test isn’t always reliable evidence. A skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will understand the procedures and limitations of blood tests and could potentially challenge this evidence if introduced.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Virginia, you need to contact a skilled and aggressive defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights. The Fairfax DWI defense lawyers at Leary Law P.C. have extensive experience helping those who’ve been arrested in our community, and we’ll be ready to put our skills to work for you. After a DUI arrest, contact us by calling (703)-359-7111 or reach out to us online for a confidential case evaluation.
Virginia’s Implied Consent Law
The state of Virginia has what is known as an implied consent law when it comes to DWI arrests. Implied consent means that if a motorist is lawfully arrested for driving while intoxicated, they must submit to either a breath or blood test.
Motorists who refuse to take a breath or blood test to identify their blood alcohol concentration may have their driver’s license suspended. The suspension can last one to three years but depends on the driver’s previous DWI record.
Challenging Blood Test Results
Blood tests are typically more accurate than breathalyzer tests. However, they are not without their own set of problems. Blood tests results may not always be reliable, and a skilled attorney knows which situations may result in inaccurate or inadmissible test results. Some of the ways that a blood test may provide inaccurate include:
- If an unqualified person conducted the test– A blood sample is generally taken by a trained and qualified medical professional. Universal safety precautions need to be adhered to for the safety of the test subject and to ensure that a viable sample is acquired. When unqualified individuals perform blood tests, the reliability of that test may be questionable.
- Lab or labeling errors– The same is true for facilities that analyze blood test results. If a facility is unclean or employs untrained staff, the results may not be accurate, and samples could become contaminated. Labeling errors or labeling mix-ups between specimens may also invalidate blood test results.
- Improper storage procedures– Blood has a shelf life. If it is not stored and refrigerated correctly, it can begin to ferment, resulting in an inaccurate BAC.
- Improper sample handling– There is a specific process for collecting and handling blood samples. If at any point any authorized person is allowed to handle the specimen, that test sample may be called into question. Chain of command or chain of custody can be very important when handling blood samples.
- Failure to follow procedures– Those arrested for DWI have certain legal rights. Suppose at any point in time an individual’s rights are violated, or proper procedure is not followed when collecting a blood sample. In that case, the results of the blood test could be invalidated.
Fighting Back with Leary Law P.C.
An experienced defense attorney could thoroughly review not only the blood test results themselves but the scientific methods that went into collecting and analyzing those results. An attorney might also look at the situation in total to determine if proper procedures and regulations have been adhered to when authorities collected the blood sample.
If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI in Virginia, you need immediate legal representation. Contact the Fairfax VA Criminal Defense team at Leary Law P.C. today and let us fight these charges on your behalf.