When the police pull over a suspected drunk driver, they will try to assess the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) in a variety of ways. One of the most accurate and scientific ways to go about the test is to take a blood sample.
If you are stopped by the police and consent to such a blood test, the results could be used against you in a DUI case. However, just as with a breathalyzer test, you do have the right to refuse.
Kentucky’s Implied Consent Law
Under Kentucky’s implied consent law, driving on a public road means you consent to give a breath or blood test in a DUI investigation. You may refuse, but you will face consequences.
As long as the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are driving drunk, refusing to submit to BAC testing will result in a suspended license. Even if you are ultimately not convicted of a DUI, you may still lose your driver’s license for the same period of time that you would have if you were found guilty.
Also, keep in mind that your refusal to consent to a breath test or blood draw can be used against you in court.
What Happens If I Refuse to Consent to a Blood Draw?
When can the police draw your blood without consent? If you refuse to allow the police to test your blood for alcohol, there are few situations where you might be tested against your will.
This is partly because the Supreme Court of the United States has found it unconstitutional to take someone’s blood without a warrant, except in extreme cases. Therefore, police officers must seek a warrant before forcing a DUI suspect to give blood. In a more recent case, the Supreme Court ruled that police may take a blood sample from an unconscious DUI suspect, although the Court was divided in its reasoning.
In Kentucky, however, state law makes compelled blood tests even more difficult for the police to obtain. The law only allows the police to get a warrant during a DUI investigation if there is physical injury or death involved. This means if you were simply pulled over for suspicious driving maneuvers, the police won’t be able to get a warrant to test your blood.
Can an Attorney Challenge a Blood Alcohol Test?
If you do consent to a blood test and it shows an unlawful level of alcohol, you may have a tough road ahead.
You may believe that you have no way of beating your DUI case, but an attorney with expertise in blood testing technology can challenge the results of a BAC test in court. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can help you fight your case, despite the results of a blood test, by filing a motion to suppress.
Here are some things to know about how attorneys can challenge blood tests:
- An experienced attorney can have another lab test your blood draw. An expert DUI attorney can have your blood sample analyzed by an independent lab to catch any variances from the police blood draw.
- If an alcohol swab was used before the blood draw, an attorney can argue contamination. Alcohol swabs may contain up to 2% ethyl alcohol, which can contaminate the alcohol content of the blood sample.
- Expert attorneys can challenge the warrant. If your blood was drawn after the police obtained a warrant, the warrant itself can be challenged. If the warrant is successfully challenged, then the blood draw that resulted will be thrown out of court.
- The blood testing and evidence preservation standards can be challenged. There are very strict requirements for how blood must be drawn and how it must be handled and labeled after it is taken. An attorney can look at the handling of your blood sample to catch any inconsistencies or improper techniques.
Remember, the prosecution has the burden of proving that you broke the law. You can make their job much more difficult by challenging the evidence they’re trying to use to build your case. If you can undercut their evidence or get it thrown out, that can really help you protect your future. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Louisville DUI defense lawyer for help.