by | last updated on January 18, 2016
Drivers may be asked to submit to a blood alcohol test if an officer suspects drunk driving. A field sobriety test may be administered first, and the officer may then request the driver submit a chemical DUI sobriety test, which may include breath, urine or blood testing. Florida has an implied consent law, which means that the driver must perform the test(s) when asked or face penalties.Blood alcohol tests are considered by many to be the most accurate way to determine one’s blood alcohol content (BAC). However, there may be scenarios in which a Ft. Lauderdale DUI lawyer may challenge the results of the test.

Refusing a Blood Alcohol Test

Although those accused of drinking and driving cannot be forced to take a test, refusing to take a DUI sobriety test carries its own penalties. In fact, if the person faces a trial, the prosecutor can use the refusal against the driver in court. The officer should inform the driver of these penalties.

In Florida, refusing to submit to a DUI sobriety test upon request by law enforcement can result in a license suspension of one year. For a subsequent refusal, the driver may also face a misdemeanor charge. In this case, the driver’s license will be suspended for 18 months, in addition to facing jail time and fines. In such cases, a Ft. Lauderdale DUI lawyer can be very important when addressing these charges and building a defense.

Accuracy of Blood Alcohol Tests

Blood alcohol tests are usually very accurate in determining a person’s BAC. However, there are some situations in which a BAC may come back higher than it actually is, producing an incorrect result.

These situations include:

  • if the driver has diabetes;
  • if the driver is taking cough medicine;
  • if the blood sample has sat out for a long time before being tested; and
  • if there is an error in labeling or recordkeeping at the lab.

In addition, the blood may be tested in one of two ways: the whole blood or just the serum. When the whole blood is tested, results are usually fairly accurate. However, when just the serum is tested, results can be off by as much as 25 percent.

If an alcohol swab is used to clean the area prior to inserting the needle to draw the blood sample for the DUI sobriety test, alcohol transferred from the swab to the needle may interfere with test results. A Ft. Lauderdale DUI lawyer may examine these possible factors when evaluating a defendant’s case.

Contacting Ft. Lauderdale DUI Lawyers

DUI cases can become complex if results of a chemical test are challenged. Individuals can face serious penalties for DUI or refusing a chemical test. Robert Malove is a Ft. Lauderdale DUI lawyer who can answer clients’ questions regarding the DUI testing process and his or her legal rights when facing charges of DUI, or refusing DUI sobriety tests such as blood alcohol tests. Contact Robert Malove today at 954-861-0384.