If a law enforcement officer suspects an individual is DUI, he or she may request the individual submit to a blood sample to test for alcohol or controlled substances. An officer may request a blood sample when:
It is important to remember evidence from a blood test is admissible in a criminal proceeding for the underlying DUI offense. Evidence of refusal to take a blood test may also be used in any criminal proceeding for the underlying DUI offense.
If you were arrested for DUI involving a blood test to determine whether you were under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, it is important to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable in Pennsylvania’s DUI laws. Michael J. Skinner of the Skinner Law Firm will discuss the facts and circumstances of your particular case with you and make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 today for a consultation about your alleged offense.
Pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S. § 1547, every person who drives a vehicle in the state of Pennsylvania shall be deemed to have given consent for a chemical testing to an officer who has reasonable suspicion to believe the person is DUI. This is called implied consent. The chemical testing may be performed by breath, blood or urine, and may test for alcohol or controlled substances. When a person submits to blood testing, he or she will have blood drawn at a licensed facility. There are procedures and safeguards in place in order to protect individual’s rights during this process.
Blood tests are usually considered more accurate than breath or urine tests, and can test for a wider arrange of controlled substances. However, the results of a blood test may actually be easier to fight at trial. Reasons include, but are not limited to:
An individual may be arrested for DUI even if little or no alcohol is involved. If an individual submits to a breath test and blows under .08%, a law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe impairment exists may still request a blood sample to test for drug impairment. The blood sample will be sent to a lab to test for the presence of any of the following controlled substances:
Although blood tests are typically accurate in determining whether controlled substances or metabolites are present in an individual’s blood, the tests cannot show when the individual consumed the controlled substances. Therefore, evidence of drugs may still be found in a person’s blood long after they are no longer under the influence of the drugs.
For example, if an individual smoked marijuana one week prior to being stopped for DUI, and subsequently submits to a blood test, marijuana metabolites would likely still be present in any blood sample taken. Under the law, an individual cannot have any form of a controlled substance in his or her system when operating a motor vehicle. Therefore, that individual can be arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence – controlled substance related.
An individual who refuses to submit to a blood test to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or controlled substance impairment faces the most severe penalties for DUI offenses.
A first offense DUI conviction involving a refusal to submit to chemical testing is a misdemeanor and, if convicted, an individual faces the following mandatory sentence:
A second or subsequent DUI involving a refusal of chemical testing is a misdemeanor of the first degree and, if convicted, an individual faces the following mandatory sentence:
An individual who refuses to submit to chemical testing also faces severe license suspension consequences. In addition to the above license suspension, a refusal to submit to a blood test carries an additional one year (possibly 18 months) driver’s license suspension.
Contact our office at (610) 436-1410 today for a consultation about your DUI blood test in Chester County, Delaware County or any of the surrounding counties in Pennsylvania. Michael J. Skinner is an experienced West Chester DUI attorney and will make every effort to fight your case or find the most desirable outcome for your pending case.