When a person is being charged with a DUI, depending on the circumstances, police officers may obtain a blood sample from the person to measure the level of alcohol in their system. If the person being accused of DUI does not consent to the blood draw, the officers may seek a warrant.
Typically, blood tests are not given at the scene, because only qualified people may administer the blood test. Further, each state has different regulations as to who is qualified to give a blood test, how the tests are taken, how the samples are transported, and how the tests are analyzed.
Our CEO and founder, Dan Reynolds, sat down for an interview with KXL to talk about the process of a blood draw in a DUI Investigation in Oregon.
What does it mean that police can seek a warrant for a blood draw?
Police officers can ask a judge for a search warrant for a blood draw. This means that the judge is making a determination, based on evidence from the police officer, that it is more likely than not, that there is evidence of a crime within that blood. When the judge makes that determination, the search warrant allows the officer to obtain that blood to use as evidence against that person.
Is blood drawn for a test only if the person is unconscious from an accident, for example?
In Oregon, there is not a breath test that has been deemed portable. So, if there is an accident and a person is taken to the hospital, and DUI is suspected, a breath test is not an option. The only other option for an officer is a blood test at that point.¹
Since not every accident is alcohol related, what would lead an officer to test for DUI?
The legal term is “probable cause.” What that means is that it is more likely than not that there is evidence that a crime occurred.²
How long does it take to get the blood test results back?
When the police crime lab is backed up, it can take weeks to months, depending on their availability to process the blood.
When people come to you, what is the one piece of information that you wish they had known that most people don’t know?
That .08 is not the final decision of whether or not a person is charged with a DUI. The state can go forward with a DUI well under a .08, in fact they frequently do. An officer’s determination that it’s more likely than not that a person’s mental or physical faculties are negatively impacted to a noticeable or perceptible degree by the use of alcohol.³ In other words, that a person is not as sharp physically or mentally than they otherwise would have been, that’s the standard to be arrested and to be prosecuted. So .08, if you’re above that, that’s an easy way for the state to prove a DUI, but just because you’re below it doesn’t mean that the state can’t still proceed with a DUI against you.
If you need help with a DUI arrest, call us today!
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, call Reynolds Defense Firm at (503) 223-3422. You may also chat with us live 24/7, or contact us by using the online form on this website for your free initial consultation. Our team of DUI lawyers has over 80 years of combined experience, specializing in Oregon DUI law. We are always happy to help answer your questions and figure out what the best steps are for you and your family.
¹Also, if a person refuses to provide a breath test, the officer can apply for a search warrant to obtain a blood draw.
²Evidence could come in the form of a smell of alcohol, witness statements, your own statements, etc.
³Or another intoxicant
About the editor: After a lengthy career working in indigent defense, Sr. Associate Attorney, Kami White brought her love and passion for helping people to the Reynolds Defense Firm team. She is dedicated to making a difference in her client’s lives and everyday she is enthusiastic about the opportunity to influence and inspire those around her. Kami has many years of experience as a trial lawyer, focused solely on criminal defense. She has also acted in a managerial role, providing support and guidance to several of her peers. Her hard-working and accomplished background has earned her the respect of many professionals in the legal community, and we are grateful to have her level of skill and dedication serving our clients.