Although most believe blood test results are more reliable than breath test results, this is often not the case. People are often surprised to learn that fighting a blood test DWI case can be easier than defending a breath test case. Utilizing the blood test results in a DWI trial is often more complicated, expensive, and time-consuming for the state.
Blood samples drawn are often difficult to track, and can lead to serious "chain of custody" issues. If any of the links of the chain of custody are missing, the blood result may be compromised. A break in the link of the chain of custody typically does not prevent evidence of your blood test from being admitted at trial, but it CAN go to "weight of the evidence" for the jury to consider. Blood samples also must be preserved with certain chemical agents for accurate testing. Each blood sample tube should contain a preservative and an anti-coagulant to preserve the blood sample for testing. If there is an unproportionate amount of the chemicals in relation to the blood, the preservative and anti-cogulatant would react as "salting out agents" and the result would be rendered inaccurate.
Issues in a DWI Blood Test cases can include the following:
1. Blood sample not properly taken by a qualified phlebotomist;
2. Utilizing a swab that contains alcohol to clean the site where the blood is drawn;
3. Mistakenly obtaining the blood via an atery, and not a vein;
4. Improper mixing of the blood sample once drawn with the requisite chemicals and anti-cogulant that should preserve the blood sample;
5. Failure to preserve vials so that retesting is possible if needed;
6. Chain of custody issues for anyone who handled the blood after drawn;
7. Improper storage and whether the blood sample was refrigerated at the correct temperature;
8. Mistakes with the conversion of the plasma blood test result to whole blood;
9. Unsanitary lab issues;
10. Improper "shaking" of the sample after it’s drawn;
11. Improper search warrant issues in a forced blood draw;
12. Expired Blood Test Kits;
13. Fermentation of the blood sample: fermentation can result when the blood sample is combined with outside microorganisms. There is NO WAY to distinguish between alcohol consumed by a subject and alcohol CREATED BY FERMENTATION;
13. The effects of common bacteria on the formation of alcohol in improperly stored blood sample. Candida Albicans, a common bacteria eats glucose and excretes alcohol. This alcohol cannot be distinguished from alcohol that people drink.
The bottom line is that the people obtaining and testing the blood in DWI cases are human…and by nature...PEOPLE CAN MAKE MISTAKES! If you are in need of an exceptionally trained and skilled DWI Defense Blood Test Attorney, contact The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC at 214.702.CARL (2275) immediately.