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Blood tests are considered to be simultaneously the most accurate method of testing for an alleged offender’s drug or alcohol content and the most invasive method of testing.
Breath testing is usually the preferred method for police officers because the associated requirements are far less rigorous. Breath testing is cheaper because no scientific training is required to administer the test. Prosecutors also like breath testing because it is often easier to get the breath test results admitted into evidence.
Although blood testing is more expensive and time consuming, it becomes necessary in cases involving a refusal to submit to breath testing or when the suspect is receiving medical treatment and a breath test is not practical.
Blood tests are especially common following accidents when alleged offenders suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) may be unable to provide other types of samples. It is important to understand when and why state law in Ohio grants police officers tremendous latitude in obtaining blood samples.
DUI Lawyer for a Blood Test in Cincinnati, OH
Was a blood test used in your OVI case in Cincinnati, OH, or the surrounding areas in central Ohio? In OVI cases involving a blood test it is critical for you to have extremely knowledgeable legal representation capable of investigating how the test was handled and fighting to suppress or exclude the results from trial. Fighting to exclude the blood test results is critical to getting the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Cincinnati DUI attorney Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm represents clients accused of allegedly drunk driving in Hamilton County and many surrounding communities, including Marysville in Warren County, Mason in Franklin County, Butler in Butler County, and many others. He can review your case as soon as you call (513) 339-6289 today to set up a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of OVI Blood Tests in Hamilton County, OH
- When are blood tests usually used in DUI cases?
- What kinds of errors can lead to blood test results being thrown out?
- Where can I learn more about blood tests in drunk driving cases?
In order for a blood specimen to be considered valid, Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19(D)(b) states that the sample must be collected within three hours of the alleged offense. Ohio Administrative Code § 3701-53 establishes several protocols for blood tests that must be followed in regards to how the samples are collected, the qualifications of the people performing the blood draws, and the instruments used in collecting the samples.
Ohio Revised Code § 4511.191(A)(5)(b) establishes that law enforcement officers can “employ whatever reasonable means are necessary to ensure” that alleged offenders submit to a chemical test of their whole blood or blood serum or plasma if they refused to submit to a chemical test.
This means that police may be able to legally pin a person down and draw their blood while being immune from criminal and/or civil liability for any claims of assault.
Many law enforcement agencies around Ohio often have local judges on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to issue warrants specifically for the purpose of authorizing blood tests. Police are often quick to make these phone calls for suspected drunk driving cases during sobriety checkpoints, holiday weekends, or when alleged offenders have been previously convicted of multiple OVI offenses.
Warrantless, non-consensual blood draws may be admissible in certain limited cases with exigent circumstances.
The taking, storing, and testing of blood specimens are all extremely complex procedures that must adhere to very strict requirements under state law. Any deviation from the standards established under Ohio law can result in a blood specimen possibly producing a false positive and thus becoming inadmissible in court.
Even if a blood test allegedly showed you were under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, some of the reasons a test may be thrown out include, but are not limited to:
- Analyst lacked proper permit;
- Failure to meet laboratory requirements;
- Sample was contaminated;
- Sample was illegally obtained;
- Sample was improperly stored;
- Test performed by individual who did not meet state standards;
- Test was not performed within three hours of the alleged violation; or
- Whole blood value was actually plasma or serum.
Missouri v McNeely — In 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard and decided this case of a man who was stopped for allegedly speeding and crossing the centerline. The police officer noticed signs of intoxication and the man failed field sobriety tests but refused to submit to a portable breath test, a breath test at the police station, and a blood test at a nearby hospital. The officer ordered a blood draw without the man’s consent and arrested him for drunk driving after the results of the blood test showed a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.154 percent. While the police argued that any delay in obtaining a warrant would lead to a destruction of the evidence, the trial court, the Missouri Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court all agreed that the forced blood draw was a violation of the man’s Fourth Amendment rights prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures. The case put important limits on the ability of a law enforcement officer to obtain a warrantless and forced blood draws using the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment.
Find an OVI Lawyer for Blood Tests in Cincinnati, Ohio
If a blood test was used as part of your arrest for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance in Cincinnati or the surrounding areas of Central Ohio, then make sure that you have experienced legal counsel.
The Joslyn Law Firm defends clients charged with OVI throughout the greater Cincinnati area as well as many surrounding communities around Hamilton County, including Fairfield in Clermont County, Oxford in Clinton County, and Wilmington in Greene County.
Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn is certified as an instructor in the administration of standardized field sobriety tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Call (513) 339-6289 or submit an online form to have him review your case and discuss your possible defenses during a completely free initial consultation.