What is a Blood Test in Loveland, Fort Collins, Estes Park, and Greeley?
A blood test is one of the common chemical tests Loveland, Fort Collins, Estes Park, and Greeley law enforcement uses to determine or verify that an individual has drugs or alcohol in their system. It is typically used when an individual is suspected of operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The procedure for a blood test generally involves taking a sample of an individual's blood to measure the amount of drugs or alcohol present in the blood. This type of test is typically considered to produce more accurate results in comparison with the other chemical tests.
However, blood tests are rarely given at the scene of a suspected offense because of the need for equipment and a qualified individual to administer the test. Here at The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC, we have helped many clients facing DUI/DWAI charges. If you have questions about the blood test you were asked to submit in Colorado, call our office at 970-236-6576 or fill out an online form today.
Can You Refuse a Blood Test in Colorado?
The simple answer is yes. However, the aftermath of a refusal in Loveland, Fort Collins, Estes Park, and Greeley could result in significant legal consequences that affect many areas of your life.
Law enforcement officers typically request a blood test after arresting an individual based on a suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under Colorado's Express Consent laws, drivers must consent to chemical testing, including a blood test, when requested by a law enforcement officer. All individuals who obtain a driver's license consent to follow these laws.
Refusing a blood test is considered a violation of the Express Consent laws, which carries significant consequences, including mandatory driver's license suspension if confirmed through an administrative hearing or if you fail to request a hearing in a timely manner.
While case law has emphasized the need for a warrant to draw an individual's blood, Colorado's express consent law by default requires you to comply or face automatic consequences.
Problems with Blood Tests in Colorado
Although blood tests typically provide more reliable results than other chemical tests, they are not without their problems. For a reliable result, blood tests need a proper blood sample taken under proper circumstances.
Many of the problems with blood tests relate to the blood sample and how the sample was obtained, including:
- Waiting too long to obtain the sample
- Contaminated blood sample
- Improper preservation or storage of the sample
- Improper transportation of the sample
- Lack of chain of custody for the sample
- Drawing of the blood sample by an unqualified person
In addition, the technology and machines used to analyze the blood samples could have problems that make the results unreliable. For instance, the technology or machines could be faulty or produce inaccurate results that have not been checked by a certified lab technician.
How an Attorney Can Challenge Blood Tests in Loveland, Fort Collins, Estes Park, and Greeley
Blood tests can complicate a drunk driving case because of the potential problems with the procedures and the results.
At The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC, Sean P. Harrell understands the many problems with a blood test that could be used to present a sufficient defense or prevent charges from proceeding to a trial. Additionally, challenging a blood test requires proactive work by your defense attorney.
For example, challenging the procedure in which a blood sample was taken could help establish the unreliability of the sample, but it requires chain of custody documents and other evidence. Judges in Loveland, Fort Collins and Greeley have allowed blood results to be admitted at trial despite chain of custody issues, but juries have the final word on reliability of this evidence and its weight.
It is important for a charged individual to understand that there are defenses available to combat blood test results. Call us today at 970-236-6576 or fill out an online form to schedule a free initial consultation today.