DUI Testing: Blood, Breath, and Urine
Being stopped for a DUI is a nightmare scenario for every motorist. A DUI conviction can impact your life for years to come. Offenders may be subject to jail time, hefty fines, driver’s license restrictions or suspension, and other possible consequences. If you’re pulled over and an officer suspects you’re driving under the influence, you may have to undergo one or more sobriety tests. The most common DUI testing methods are blood, breath, and urine tests. Continue reading to learn more about DUI testing methods, and contact a criminal Attorney to discuss your case if you’ve been charged with a DUI in Georgia Contact Bayani Law Firm.
Georgia, like many other states, operates under the implied consent law. Georgia’s implied consent law means you are legally obligated to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test if you are arrested for a DUI. If you refuse to do so, your license may be suspended and your refusal may be used as evidence against you for the purpose of prosecuting your DUI charge. Additionally, if you refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test, or you are an under 21 driver with a BAC of .02 or greater; and you do not request an administrative license suspension hearing within the 10 business days, your Georgia drivers’ license (or privilege to drive in Georgia if you are licensed by another state) will be suspended for one year with no driving permit privileges.
- Blood Tests – Blood tests are the most accurate DUI testing method. An arrestee’s blood is drawn, and the alcohol content is analyzed in a laboratory. Samples that are not properly preserved, or laboratories that otherwise do not follow accurate record keeping and other standard protocols, may be compromised; their results contestable by a DUI defense lawyer.
- Breath Tests – This is a common DUI testing method that can contain a large margin of error. Breathalyzers test the amount of alcohol in a portion of exhaled air. To determine blood alcohol content from the alcohol content of exhaled air, the number is multiplied by 2100, because “an average person usually has 1/2100th the amount of alcohol (in the exhaled air) of an equal volume of blood.”
Determining blood alcohol content using this type of average can present accuracy problems. Readings can be impacted by many factors, including body temperature, respiration rate, alcohol vapor in the mouth from stomach acid, mouthwashes, breath mints, or acid indigestion. Breathalyzer equipment may also malfunction and must be routinely calibrated and used correctly by the testing officer.
Urine Tests – Urine tests are the least accurate DUI testing method, and are thus used only as a last resort. Here, blood alcohol content is extrapolated based on alcohol content in the given urine sample. This may not always accurately reflect the blood alcohol content or intoxication of an arrestee when urine is held in the bladder for an extended period of time giving a potentially high reading, or the subject urinates frequently giving a potentially low reading. Subjects taking a urine test are generally required to produce two samples, the second sample containing the more accurate and timely result.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Georgia, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case. We are dedicated to defending your DUI charge, and have years of experience and success representing DUI defendants. Contact us today to discuss building your defense.