Drivers who fail field sobriety tests may be asked to take a chemical sobriety test, such as a urine alcohol test. Although not used in most situations, a urine sample is easy to perform when breath or blood testing is not available. A DUI attorney in Ft. Lauderdale may question the accuracy of some tests and may address the issue when helping a driver facing DUI charges build a defense.
When a Urine Alcohol Test is Ordered
Breath and blood tests may be ordered more often than the urine test. However, when either of these methods is unavailable – such as when a Breathalyzer test is broken or if the suspected drunk driver is in a rural area where blood testing cannot be done right away – a urine sample may be ordered because it is relatively quick and easy to perform.
A urine alcohol test also may be performed if a police officer uses breath testing first, but the results appear to be inaccurate. Another situation is when a person is, for some reason, unable to give a breath sample. If the police officer suspects that the person is under the influence of drugs, then a urine sample may be ordered because urine can detect substances other than alcohol; whereas, a breath test cannot.
Common Issues with Urine Alcohol Tests
Urine alcohol tests are not as accurate as breath or blood samples. Alcohol in urine is affected by the period of time between when the person last drank alcohol, last emptied his/her bladder, and when the sample was performed. It can take more than an hour for alcohol to appear in a urine sample. In addition, if the person drank alcohol several hours prior and has not urinated, the result may be higher, while someone who had just urinated may have a very low BAC even if that person drank alcohol more recently. Drinking non-alcoholic beverages also may affect alcohol levels in the person’s urine and could affect the sobriety test.
Another thing to consider is that urine samples cannot be performed onsite. They must be done at the person’s home, at the police station, or at a hospital or medical clinic. This means that there is a risk that the urine sample can be altered intentionally or accidentally. A suspect may try to dilute the urine or replace it with someone else’s in order to avoid guilt. Lab errors also may occur.
When handling a DUI case, a DUI attorney in Ft. Lauderdale will consider which sobriety test is used and may call into question issues that may exist with the test. The lawyer will review the details of the arrest and testing when evaluating use of the test as evidence in the case.
Contact a DUI Attorney in Ft. Lauderdale for Help with a DUI Case
Those who refuse to submit to chemical tests for sobriety testing may be punished by the law. However, those accused of drinking and driving do have constitutional and legal rights. Robert David Malove is a DUI attorney in Ft. Lauderdale who can defend his clients and help them understand their rights. Contact him today at (954) 861-0384 to review details of your case and to go over use of a chemical sobriety test, such as a urine alcohol test.