The most commonly used test in Ohio to determine a person’s blood alcohol content is the breath test. If you are pulled over by law enforcement under suspicion of OVI/DUI and asked to submit to breath blood alcohol testing, or asked to submit to a blood test, it is important that you understand what you can do to protect your rights. The following is some important information about how Ohio breath and blood tests are conducted in Ohio.
There are two types of breath tests in Ohio. The first one is a handheld device, referred to as a preliminary breath test (PBT), which is sometimes used in the field. The second is a larger machine that is used at the police station. Even though these two machines utilize the same principles, the PBT tends to be much less accurate than the larger machine.
The difference between these two pieces of equipment is that the breath test used at police stations is mandatory. A person is not required to submit to a PBT test during a traffic stop, which means that law enforcement can not require you to do so. Refusing a mandatory breath test, however, can lead to serious penalties. Furthermore, law enforcement is not required to allow you the assistance of an attorney before you take this test. Even if you refuse a breath test, law enforcement is still able to apply for a warrant to collect a sample of your blood.
A blood warrant refers to the type of warrant used by law enforcement to collect a blood sample from a person without obtaining his or her consent. While Ohio drivers once felt free to refuse a blood alcohol content test without facing repercussions, this is no longer the case. Despite the increasing popularity of blood warrants, they should only be issued if law enforcement has probable cause to make arrests. Many people charged with DUI are able to challenge law enforcement’s blood warrant on the basis that the officer involved in their case lacked probable cause.
Sometimes the validity of a blood test can be called into question based on the number of people who handled the sample, the way that the blood sample was transported, or the procedure utilized to performed to the blood draw.Other times, the defense can argue that the blood testing machines were improperly cleaned, calibrated, or poorly maintained, or that staff lacked adequate training to use them.
If you have been charged with DUI as a result of a breath or blood test conducted by law enforcement, quickly obtain the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney who can help build your defense. Contact Kruger & Hodges today to schedule an initial free case evaluation. Blood alcohol testing is not as accurate as many people think, and there are always defenses available to you.