When you are arrested or pulled over for a DUI, you may already be aware that law enforcement has implied consent to assess your blood alcohol content. This assessment can be made in a number of ways, including a breathalyzer test or a blood draw. Blood draws offer a more accurate reading of the exact percentage of your blood alcohol content during a traffic stop. Many drivers may be unaware of the laws and regulations pertaining to giving blood samples and whether or not law enforcement may draw your blood without your consent.
Overall, the police cannot retrieve a blood sample from you during a DUI traffic stop without your consent unless they have a warrant. This stands even if the police reasonably suspect the driver to be under the influence of alcohol. However, if you refuse to submit a blood sample, you may still have to submit a breathalyzer test. If you believe your blood was forcibly drawn in a DUI stop or arrest, speak with an experienced DUI attorney at Dod Law for an assessment of your case. We may also be able to defend your rights against blood draw results and protect you from the negative repercussions of a DUI conviction.
When Is a DUI Blood Draw Required in California?
When you are charged with a California DUI, there are a few subtle distinctions pertaining to consent and California’s implied consent laws. Overall, all California drivers consent to take a DUI blood or breathalyzer test during a traffic stop and are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence. However, drivers may opt to take the breathalyzer over the blood draw. There are a few exceptions:
- The driver is not conscious
- The driver has been taken to a facility where breathalyzers aren’t available
- The police have obtained a warrant
- The police reasonably believe that the driver was under the influence of other substances
- The police suspect that the driver committed a felony
Before 2018, the only exception was obtaining a warrant. Today, police officers don’t necessarily require a warrant for blood draws and may administer a blood test if you voluntarily choose to have one over a breath test or you fall into one of the exceptions listed above.
If a law enforcement officer has forcibly drawn your blood without your consent, and you do not fall into any of the exceptions listed, you may be able to work with a California DUI lawyer to diminish your DUI penalties or even have your case dropped in certain circumstances.
Which Blood Alcohol Content Test Is Best in a DUI Traffic Stop?
More often than not, California drivers tend to choose breathalyzer tests over blood draws because they are quickly administered and are less invasive. Although this may be the case, blood draws may be best in the long run. Breathalyzers work by measuring the amount of alcohol in your system by mathematically converting this number to an approximated level of blood alcohol content, known as partition ratio. Because the partition ratio varies for everyone, some people may consider blood draws a more accurate measure of blood alcohol content than breathalyzers and may be saved for future retesting, which can sometimes be a great advantage.
Contact an Experienced California DUI Lawyer at Dod Law
A California DUI lawyer at Dod Law can help you defend against blood draws taken without your consent or fight against blood sample results. After thoroughly evaluating your case and evidence against you, we will exhaust all resources available to mitigate any DUI accusations or charges against you. We offer ardent representation and have a solid track record in obtaining a successful verdict in DUI cases.
Attorney Dod at Dod Law, APC, passionately advocates for you and is proud to offer committed, award-winning representation. He has worked on 6,500 successful criminal cases and is a trusted ally in getting the dedicated DUI defense you need. We may diminish your penalties or potentially get them expunged if you have had your rights violated by a forced DUI blood draw. Speak with a seasoned DUI lawyer by calling (619) 814-5110 or filling out our contact form.