In Connecticut, you may face charges of driving under the influence (DUI) if you operate a vehicle while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol or if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. If you are arrested for DUI, you will be asked to perform a chemical test to determine your BAC, and this may be either a blood, breath, or urine test. Though chemical breath tests are most commonly used to determine BAC, other methods may be more accurate, and it is not unheard of to be asked to provide a blood sample.
Requirements for Using Chemical Tests as Evidence
The point of collecting a sample of a suspect’s blood, breath or urine is to have hard evidence of the amount of alcohol or drugs in the person’s system at the time of the arrest. This evidence may be used to demonstrate that a driver was intoxicated, but in order for the evidence to be admissible in Connecticut courts, there are six requirements that must be met:
- The defendant consented to the chemical test and was permitted to call an attorney before the test was administered;
- The results of the test were given to the defendant within 24 hours after the results were known;
- The test was administered according to regulations set forth by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection;
- The device used for the test was checked to ensure its accuracy prior to the test;
- Another chemical test of the same type was conducted at least 30 minutes after the first test, or a chemical test of a different type was conducted at the direction of a police officer to check for a drug other than or in addition to alcohol; and
- Evidence shows that the test was started within two hours of the defendant’s operation of the vehicle.
Blood Test Requirements
In addition to specific requirements for any chemical test to be admissible, there are also certain rules and regulations that must be followed when performing a blood test to be used as evidence in court. Police officers are not permitted to draw blood from a defendant; for results to be admissible in court, blood must be drawn by a person who is licensed to practice medicine, a phlebotomist, a laboratory technician, an emergency medical technician, or a registered nurse. A sterile syringe and hypodermic needle must be used during the blood collection, and the defendant’s skin must not be cleaned using anything containing ethyl alcohol. The containers and equipment used for the collection must be able to preserve the integrity and suitability of the blood samples, and each container must be properly sealed and labeled immediately after collection.
A Hartford DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help Keep You Behind the Wheel
If you have been accused of driving while under the influence, you are facing serious charges. Even a first-time DUI offender may face jail time, fines, and the requirement to use an ignition interlock device. In some cases, the results of a chemical test can be disputed because of improper collection techniques or other discrepancies. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we understand how a DUI conviction can affect your life. Let our skilled East Hartford, CT DUI defense lawyer help you; call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.