Challenging Blood Tests in a Boston DUI Cases

DUI Attorney Serving Boston, MA

At Keegan Law, we can carefully asses your case if you were charged for drunk driving based on your blood alcohol concentration in Boston. We can evaluate the source of testing that was used to charge you and can provide the strong defense that your case requires.

Testing for a driver’s BAC can be accomplished in different manners, including:

  • Blood serum test
  • Breathalyzer test

If you are arrested for operating under the influence (OUI) or driving under the influence (DUI) in Massachusetts, you may have to take a blood test or breath test. Once you are arrested, the arresting officer will ask you to take a chemical test. He or she should tell you that refusing such a test may result in license suspension and other penalties, such as vehicle impoundment. If you agree and the officer decides to perform a blood test, a blood sample will be drawn. This will then be analyzed to determine the level of alcohol in your blood.

If you refuse to be tested for alcohol intoxication, whether through a breathalyzer test or blood test, immediate legal consequences can result. We encourage you to get the strong defense that you need to adequately defend your case. Contact us today for the quality legal guidance you need.

BAC Levels of 0.08% or Higher

If you submit to a blood test and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is measured to be .08% or greater, you will most likely be charged with DUI. There is a chance you may still face DUI charges even if your BAC is below .08%, if the arresting officer can testify that your behavior and performance on field sobriety tests indicates that your abilities were impaired by alcohol while you were driving. You see, you can be charged with DUI based off the results of a blood test and also the arresting officer’s observations regarding driving behavior, outward signs of intoxication (bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, confusion) and field sobriety test results.

It is important to remember that a “failed” blood test does not necessarily have to equal a DUI conviction. A Boston DUI lawyer who understands the ins and outs of blood tests and drunk driving legislation and case law can analyze your arrest and testing to determine how it can be challenged. Potential challenges to blood test results may include:

  • The blood sample was mishandled in some way (break in the chain of command).
  • The blood sample was not preserved properly.
  • The blood sample was not mixed correctly.
  • The sample was tainted or contaminated in some way.
  • The blood test was administered improperly.
  • The test results were incorrect.

Blood tests are typically considered more accurate than breath tests in determining a driver’s BAC. One of their advantages, from a DUI defense standpoint, is that they can be independently analyzed. Your attorney can order an independent test of your blood sample to determine whether your BAC was accurately measured and also to determine whether the sample is free from contaminants and was stored and preserved properly. Even a small error could skew blood test results, rendering them inadmissible in court.

Frequently Asked Questions About Blood Tests

How does the blood test work?
Gas chromatography is the preferred method of blood analysis when determining an individual’s blood alcohol content level. This is a testing method that utilizes a technique of comparing a known standard to the subject’s standard. They are typically pre-mix solutions that have been tested for accuracy for the gas chromatography device. The law requires that the integrity of the blood sample to be maintained during each stage: collection, analysis, and reporting.

Should I refuse to take a mandatory OUI blood test in Massachusetts?
In most cases, it does not help to refuse a blood test if you are facing arrest for OUI. In Massachusetts, you will be fined a minimum of $500, can face time in jail, and will have your license suspended if you are convicted. These consequences are more severe than those for a blood test refusal. Even still, refusing the test does not ensure that you will not be convicted. You can still be found guilty of drunk driving after refusing to take the test.

What should I do if charged with DUI based on blood test results?
Our firm has the resources necessary to fight your case and find errors within the blood test, whether it was a procedural error or another matter. We can analyze the case based on the integrity of the blood specimen, which can be compromised from the manner in which the blood was collected and the storage method of the sample.

Blood Tests and DUI Accidents

When a driver is involved in a serious auto accident, it may occur that he seeks medical treatment. A blood sample may be taken as a part of this treatment, and if law enforcement suspects that the driver was operating his or her motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the Commonwealth may try to procure said blood sample to demonstrate the driver’s BAC. If they are successful in obtaining medical records pertaining to the blood sample and the presence of alcohol, they may try to charge the driver with DUI.

Even in these cases, we at Keegan Law are confident in our ability to challenge blood test results. We can look to the manner in which the sample was taken and tested and may even be able to challenge its admissibility as evidence. With more than four decades of experience in criminal justice, including as former police officers and a former prosecutor, our team can consider any and all possible strategies to offer a client the best possible outcome. To learn more about our firm, please contact a Boston DUI attorney for a confidential case review.