Drawing Blood to Test for DUI
Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore regularly addresses issues concerning accurate collection of blood alcohol and breath alcohol content in his DUI defense practice. In some states, such as Arizona, DUI suspects face blood tests whether they like it or not and they are not administered by a physician. In fact, the state has received millions of dollars from the Highway Traffic Safety Administration to implement the program.
In Florida, police may take blood, breath, or urine under implied consent rules. If an officer wants to test your blood after you were involved in an accident, he must have probable cause to believe you have been drinking. In Arizona, however, the standards are significantly more relaxed. The police officer chooses the method and increasingly, even small police forces are electing to draw blood rather than rely on breathalyzers.
Blood evidence is considered to be more reliable than breath testing. There are many flaws with the breathalyzers used in Broward County and throughout Florida. Blood testing is subject to fewer variables, like the secret software inside breathalyzers, which even the government agencies employing the devices do not have access to.
Blood testing by local police officers in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties still sounds disturbing. Inserting a needle into someone poses many more health risks, such as exposure to disease for the officer or unsafe testing conditions for the DUI suspect. In Arizona, regular police officers are authorized to perform the test following a short course in phlebotomy (also known as venipuncture, the practice of drawing blood).
Blood drawing by police officers raises some serious concerns. For example, what if the encounter between the DUI suspect and the police officer was confrontational leading up to the blood draw? Collecting blood is substantially more invasive than blowing into a breathalyzer . In certain situations, the blood may be drawn forcibly at the scene. In Florida, procedures seem more reasonable. Although the implied consent law covers blood and urine in addition to breath testing, all blood draws must be performed by a physician, a licensed nurse, or other qualified medical professional, such as a phlebotomist/lab technician. In short, police in Broward County may not insert needles into you when they pull you over because you were weaving on the road. Instead, you will likely be tested at a local hospital. Police officers in Arizona, however, are training to draw blood samples on one another. Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore believes this disturbing trend is probably the new wave in DUI arrests, but hopes that the Florida legislature will stay sensible and keep needles in the hands of the medical community and not law enforcement.
Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore is a former prosecutor and public defender. If you have been charged with DUI in south Florida, contact William Moore Criminal Defense, P.A., which has an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.
This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.