DUI Blood Tests vs. Breathalyzers: Which is Better for You?

DUI Blood Tests vs. Breathalyzers: Which is Better for You? Being detained for driving while intoxicated (DUI) may be quite distressing. What may have started off as a lighthearted evening out rapidly becomes serious as you end up handcuffed and then in the police station. The next question is: Do you wish to submit to a breathalyzer test or a blood test? Keep reading to learn the facts and then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a consultation with a DUI defense attorney.

What you are required by law to do

After being detained for a DUI in California, you are compelled by law to submit to a chemical test. Although in rare circumstances you could ask for a pee test, this will normally be either a blood or breath test. You will incur additional fees and your license will be suspended for a minimum of one year if you refuse the exam. So, which test should you choose—breath or blood?

The blood test is often the best option

For many drivers detained for a California DUI, a blood test is the best option. The reason is straightforward: by filing a petition known as a “blood split,” your attorney can request a sample of the blood drawn to be independently examined. Your DUI attorney can challenge the validity of the police’s test findings by having your blood tested at a different facility.

If you were arrested under that section of the California Vehicle Code rather than for having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above, your attorney may also be able to argue that you weren’t actually drunk or incapable of operating a vehicle safely (or, if you are under the age of 21 or driving a commercial vehicle, a BAC of .05 percent or .04 percent, respectively).

There are two ways to face DUI charges in California

You can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in California in one of two ways: either for exceeding the legal blood alcohol concentration limit or for operating a vehicle while truly impaired. For driving while intoxicated, or for driving while intoxicated from both alcohol and drugs, you may also be charged with a DUI of drugs.

In situations when you are not charged with having a BAC above the legal limit, getting a blood split for independent testing is especially crucial since your DUI attorney can claim that you were not actually impaired.

There are other uses of a blood split motion

A blood split motion can also be used by your lawyer to show that police enforcement broke the rules when obtaining your blood sample, for example, by not taking enough blood to allow for a blood split or by contaminating the sample. This may eventually result in the suppression of the evidence from your chemical blood test, which your DUI attorney might then use to negotiate a better bargain or possibly get the charges dropped entirely.

For these reasons, if you are detained for a DUI, a chemical blood test is often a preferable option. If you’re accused with DUI, Chambers Law Firm can assist you. For a free first consultation, call us at 714-760-4088 or email dchambers@clfca.com right now.

Call Us Today