Blood and Breath Testing
Blood tests for Blood Alcohol Content are becoming more and more common in Georgia. With a new law covering forced blood draws, officers have started collecting blood samples on a regular basis.
During most DUI stops, the officer will read the Georgia Implied Consent Warning (on an orange card) in front of his patrol car so the reading of the warning is recorded by a camera installed in his car. A microphone captures not only the reading but also the driver's response.
Once this is done, an officer will usually request a breath test if he suspects it you have only alcohol in your system. A breathalyzer test is the fastest and easiest test at their disposal. However, if an officer has elected to seek a blood test, then it is probably because one of the two following reasons.
- If the officer believes a driver has drugs in his system (prescription or illicit), he will likely ask for a blood alcohol test. He will first ask the driver to voluntarily consent to the blood test within minutes after the arrest.
- If a driver refuses to voluntarily submit to the breath test. In Georgia, drivers have a qualified right to refuse chemical testing once they've been arrested for a DUI.
However, if you refuse, the officer may ask a judge to issue a search warrant to test your blood. This method is gaining popularity throughout Georgia and in some cases law enforcement will conduct roadblocks with a judge on-scene to sign search warrants on the spot.
Scientific Doesn't Mean Reliable
The analysis of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is one of the most complex areas of DUI law. It involves phrases like “gas chromatography” and “infrared spectroscopy.” But as technical and scientific as those words sound, BAC testing can be unreliable, filled with operational mistakes, mis-calibrations and false positives. If you’ve submitted to a BAC test and are facing a DUI charge in Georgia don't think you're doomed, DUI lawyer Elmer (Pete) Young can challenge those test results.
BAC is a measure of the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream at the time of arrest, according to the breathalyzer or a blood test. A reading of .08 or greater is a legal presumption of intoxication in Georgia. Many people think that a .08 or greater is indisputable evidence of guilt. After all, it’s science, it's a modern machine. You blow into the thing, and it gives you this nice, neat number. But they are wrong. BAC readings are not open and shut cases. They can be challenged.
A good Augusta, Georgia, DUI lawyer will know how to fight a BAC test. It could be through any one or more of the following factors:
- An improperly calibrated breathalyzer
- Gastroesophagal reflux disease
- A false positive triggered by a legal substance already in your body
- The presence of mouth alcohol during a breath sample collection
- The method of procuring the blood sample
- The storage, transportation, or preservation of the blood sample
Just remember, if you drive in Georgia state law says you have given consent to a chemical test or tests of your blood, breath, urine or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol or any other drug.
But do not automatically assume the word “guilty” if you took a blood or breath test in your DUI case. Contact Pete Young, a CSRA DUI defense lawyer, to learn more about how you can challenge the government’s science and maybe walk out of the courthouse a free man or woman.