Chemical Tests for Alcohol
Chemical tests are used by law enforcement to determine the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in a person arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). They are also be used for someone arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).
Before you are given a chemical test, a police officer must observe you driving a motorized vehicle in a manner that made them suspicious that you were driving under the influence. This gave the police officer probable cause to pull your vehicle over to the curb. Once pulled over, the officer continued to observe your behavior. The police officer may have asked you to take a field sobriety test. It is within your rights to refuse to take a field sobriety test. The failing of a field sobriety test is not required to arrest someone for drunk driving. They are a tool used by law enforcement to help conclude if a driver is intoxicated. Whether you took the field sobriety test or not, the officer concluded you were intoxicated and wanted a chemical test to verify your BAC.
Chemical tests verify a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). They are more reliable than field sobriety tests. Chemical testing in DUI, DWI, or DUID cases is so significant that both the criminal courts and the Department of Motor Vehicles have imposed stringent punishments for drivers accused of drinking and driving who refused to submit to chemical testing. This refusal must happen when a police officer lawfully requested it after a DUI, DWI, or DUID arrest. You must submit to a chemical test due to “implied consent”. Simply put, implied consent means anyone driving on California roads have given their permission to take a chemical test of their breath or blood for determining their blood alcohol.
Although urine tests are typically not one of the chemical tests, there are circumstances that warrant a urine test instead of a blood or a breath test. These circumstances are if no blood or breath samples are available, or the driver has a medical condition such as hemophilia or under a doctor’s care for a heart condition and using an anticoagulant. To determine the BAC with a blood or urine test, a mathematical formula is used.
Most likely, you went to the police station to perform a breath test. If a blood test was used it had to be done at an appropriate location in accordance with state regulations. To be charged with drunk driving the BAC level from any of the chemical test must be at or greater than the legal limit (0.08%).
Most drivers believe if their BAC from a chemical test came back at 0.08% or greater that a conviction is definite. This is not the case. You need to consult with experienced Orange County DUI defense specialists who knows how to fight these charges. Knowing how to fight these charges, the strategies to use, and the experts to call is vital to your winning your case and keeping your freedom as well as your driver’s license. If you have been arrested for a DUI, call Coffey & Coffey right away. We have the expertise Orange County DUI defense specialists to help you win your case.