Reliability of BAC Tests: BAC Blood Test | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys

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Reliability of BAC Tests: BAC Blood Test

This is the third of a four-part series of blogs covering the reliability of BAC tests commonly used by law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania.

In this blog, we consider the reliability of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) blood tests. Additional BAC tests that will be considered in previous or upcoming blogs are BAC breath tests, and BAC urine test. If you’ve submitted to any of these tests after a DUI stop, it’s important to immediately contact an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney. Call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC today at (412) 281-2146 for a free case consultation.

BAC Blood Test

Commonly regarded as the most reliable means of determining blood alcohol concentration in the body, these BAC tests involving blood sample analysis are used extensively in Pennsylvania. However, there are issues of reliability that can arise with the results stemming from a blood test sample.

You do have the right to refuse to take a blood test in Pennsylvania. However, if you do refuse, you will become subject to certain consequences, including the loss of driving privileges for at least one year. You may request a breathalyzer test instead of a blood test, however, police are only required to comply with such a request when the option is reasonable to perform.

Before you agree to take a blood test, consult with your Pennsylvania DUI attorney.

Potential Issues Impacting Test Result Reliability

Law enforcement typically takes a suspect to the hospital in order to administer a blood test to determine BAC. The results of BAC tests involving blood sample analysis can be affected by the manner in which the blood samples are handled and stored. Improper storage prior to analysis can lead to coagulation or decomposition of the blood, producing a faulty result. Some questions your attorney may look into regarding your blood test for alcohol concentration include:

  • When was the blood sample taken?
  • Was it composed of whole blood or mostly plasma?
  • Did the medical staff use a blood test kit? If so, was the kit expired?

Additional issues that can skew BAC blood test results include the presence of rubbing alcohol on the skin prior to insertion of the needle, certain herbal supplements, prescription and nonprescription medicines, as well as a diabetic medical condition.

A Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer Can Help You

A Pennsylvania DUI lawyer from Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC can investigate the procedures used by law enforcement to determine if a blood test you submitted to was performed according to established regulations under the law. The outcome of your case can hinge on how successfully your attorney is able to discover errors or inconsistencies in the testing process. To understand more about mounting an effective defense against your DUI charge, contact us today at (412) 281-2146 for a free consultation of your case.