A DUI test blood or breath test is something some drivers may get when they're suspected of being intoxicated when they're stopped by local authorities. In Texas (and other states in the U.S. as well) test for Blood Alcohol Content to determine if the person must face charges in court.
There are many factors surrounding blood tests or breath tests, such as the police officer responsible for administering the arrest request or test request. Getting the blood test results as soon as possible is essential for people who want to challenge the charges pressed by the police officers. However, not many people know how much time these blood testing samples can take until the person gets the results.
The following article covers the basics about the DUI breath or blood test, how much these blood tests take, and how much time someone may expect to wait until they get the results. In case anyone needs any further consultation for DUI blood testing or DWI blood testing, they may seek help from the legal professionals at Sparks Law Firm.
Not all law enforcement officials take the time to explain to the person what's going to happen with their blood sample test. In those cases, it's vital to get an experienced DUI attorney that can help the person according to what's established in Texas law.
How Does Someone Get Their Blood Testing Results?
Answering the main question of this article, any person has the right of receiving a second blood test from their preferred healthcare professional, although not many officials tell them that. According to the Texas Transportation Code - Section 724.09, any person may ask a qualified physician, nurse, or chemist -within a reasonable time- to take and analyze a blood draw sample.
In case the person decides to go for this option, the officer may give them a reasonable amount of time to contact the healthcare professional and take a second sample. However, the factors shown in this penal code section only apply to a blood test, not a breath test. Moreover, the police officer isn't responsible for transporting the driver to their preferred facility.
What most people do is request the healthcare professional to get the drawing blood procedure done at the police station. Generally speaking, the person may receive the blood sample results from the police officer or healthcare professional in a particular amount of time.
How Long Does It Take for Someone to Receive the Blood Test Results?
It generally depends on the results of the facility responsible for getting the blood sample. In the state of Texas, test results may take from four weeks to even a few months to arrive. However, cases that involve intoxication assault or death may involve a rushed chemical testing procedure. Logically, the blood test results there take a few days or weeks.
What Is a DUI Blood Sample?
A DUI, also known as 'Driving Under the Influence,' refers to someone who may be driving with a high blood-alcohol concentration in their body, although it may also refer to someone driving under the influence of drugs. It's vital to note that each state in the U.S. has a particular DUI statute that forbids anyone from driving under the influence.
While most people know this term as 'DUI,' it also has other names, such as the following:
DWI - Driving While Intoxicated
OMVI - Operating a Motor Vehicle Intoxicated
OUI - Operating Under the Influence
Depending on the state, a person may have a different DUI type based on what they were consuming, such as the following:
Over the counter drugs
What Happens If Someone Gets a Penalty for A DUI in Texas?
According to Texas law, someone is considered legally intoxicated if their blood or breath test shows a blood-alcohol concentration of at least 0.08%. Still, if someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they're already breaking the law since doing that can cause accidents, and therefore, a serious bodily injury.
Driving under the influence -regardless of whether the person is under the legal limit or not- is something that law enforcement officers take seriously, so it's encouraged for people not to operate any motor vehicle if they want to avoid breaking the Texas Transportation Code or other laws in the state.
Specific Fines and Penalties
Overall, there are many penalties for a DUI or DWI case, depending on whether the person is having their first or third offense. Fines can go from $2,000 to $10,000, and people may have to go through 180 days to even 10 years in jail. Logically, someone who is found to be driving under the influence by DUI or DWI blood tests may lose their driver's license for some time.
Moreover, the fines don't include additional state fines, which may range from $3,000 to $6,000 after the person gets the sentence. Finally, if the person's blood samples show that they were driving under the influence and they were with a minor at the time, they may get charged with even more fines.
What Can a Law Enforcement Officer Do to Test for DUI?
Overall, a qualified person or officer may supply a blood test to test if the person was intoxicated (although some officers go for breath tests too). It's vital to note that while an officer of the law has the right to supply this blood test to anyone suspected of being intoxicated, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 2016 that it was unconstitutional to press charges against someone who refuses to take a blood test.
How Do the Blood Tests Work?
As the name implies, the officer may request a blood sample from the allegedly intoxicated person to measure the amount of blood-alcohol content in their body. Most of the time, blood samples are fairly accurate and can reflect if the person was under the legal limit. While driving under the influence of any substance isn't legal, being under these legal limits may help reduce the sentence.
Blood testing isn't typically administered at the same place where the officer stopped the driver. Only a qualified technician from the medical area can take these tests. On the other hand, a person under the supervision of a qualified medic may also administer blood tests, such as a registered professional nurse, physicians, or others.
In the rare case that an unqualified person administers the blood test, the person may challenge the test in court since the person who administered the test didn't follow the state's requirements for DUI or DWI blood testing, providing reasonable doubt for the results.
What About Breath Tests?
As opposed to a DUI or DWI blood test, a police officer may be able to provide breath testing instead of blood testing for the person. The only downside to this kind of test is that it primarily works with alcohol, not drugs. Currently, some scientists are working on similar testing devices to test for drugs much faster.
What Happens If the Person Refuses to Take the DUI or DWI Blood Test?
Overall, any person has the constitutional right to refuse a DUI or DWI blood test. However, it's vital to note that anyone who refuses taking a chemical test gives the authorities the right to suspend the person's license. Moreover, if the person's case leads to prosecution, the authorities may use their refusal to take the blood test to their advantage.
On the other hand, refusing to get DUI or DWI blood testing doesn't mean that the person is off the hook. The police station may request a blood search warrant, which forces the person to take the blood sample. Moreover, the person may receive the warrant at any time. The best way to avoid these problems is to agree to the test and contact defense attorneys as soon as possible.
The Basics of the Implied Consent Law
The Implied Consent Law is a statute in Texas that implies that if someone is driving on Texas roadways, they have implicitly agreed to provide at least one blood specimen test to measure alcohol content in their body. As mentioned before, if the person refuses to take that blood specimen test, they may get additional penalties following their DUI or DWI arrest.
More specifically, the person may face one of the following consequences if they refuse to get a blood draw:
Get a 180-day license suspension (First Offense)
Get a two-year license suspension (Second and Third Offense)
The officer may use the refusal against the person in a court of law.
Moreover, an officer may be able to use the Implied Consent Law to request a blood draw. In essence, if the person isn't conscious at the time of being stopped or is severely intoxicated, they may request the person to have their blood drawn as soon as possible.
If you want to know how to get out of a DUI first offense, you will be needing a good lawyer to assist you.
Can Someone Choose the Type of Test they Get?
According to Texas law, the driver can't choose whether they get their blood drawn or submit to a breath test to measure alcohol concentration levels. Instead, the arresting officer is the one responsible for asking for the type of test they deem appropriate.
It's important to note that if the officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that someone was driving under the influence, they may request more than one sample, which may include both a breath and a blood test, according to the Texas Transportation Code.
How Does the Blood Search Warrant Work?
As mentioned before, anyone who refuses to get a blood draw from an officer of the law may face some consequences later. Still, the officer may decide to get a search warrant to get a blood specimen sample from the person anyway, even if they didn't provide consent.
Here, the officer drafts an affidavit that specifies why they're suspicious of the person and sends it to a local judge. If the judge approves the affidavit, they will issue the warrant, which forces the person to take the blood sample. These search warrants go under some rules specified on the Texas Code of Criminal Procedures (Article 18.02(10)). Some of these rules include the following:
The search warrant must be signed by a magistrate and accompanied by the affidavit from the officer.
The evidence must only be used to prove a DUI or DWI.
Other scenarios where an officer may be able to force the person to take a blood test include the person driving while intoxicated in a public place or if they went against the Alcoholic Beverage Code (Section 106.041).
In this section, any minor who is under the influence of alcohol may not drive a motor vehicle or watercraft in a public place.
Finally, these are some miscellaneous scenarios where an officer can force someone to take chemical testing. While these are not as common, they may happen:
The person has previous records of having a DUI/DWI conviction or an intoxication assault or manslaughter conviction.
The person was involved in a vehicle accident, which killed or severely injured someone else.
The person was driving with someone younger than 15 years of age.
How Can Someone Defend Themself After Getting Stopped for a DUI?
While getting unfavorable results after chemical testing may be harsh for the person's case, it doesn't mean everything is lost. Overall, the driver has the constitutional right to request legal help from an attorney. Many strategies help people challenge DUI/DWI charges in Texas.
If the person's blood sample wasn't taken by a certified professional, the sample itself may not be labeled as 'legal blood,' rendering it useless in court. On the other hand, many Texas regulations require medical facilities to provide the correct collection and storage of blood samples to get accurate results. If a Fort Worth TX DWI lawyer can prove those measures didn't happen, that may favor the person's case.
Finally, it's important to remember that while a blood test may show that the driver was under the influence, the officer must still prove that the person was under the influence at the time of driving the vehicle. If they can't prove that, they may not have much to go with in court.
Requesting Legal Help for DUIs in Texas | Sparks Law Firm
Getting a DUI charge may be scary for many people, but as long as they get the right legal counsel, they may be able to prevent some of the outcomes and even get proved innocent in some particular cases. The lawyers at Sparks Law Firm are committed to developing a solid attorney-client relationship and helping people get the best outcome possible for their case.
Anyone looking to get more information about their DUI charges, as well as steps to follow legally, may request a consultation from any of the experts at the Sparks Law Firm.