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More on Blood, Breath, and Urine Tests
When a driver is suspected of DUI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired), they may be required to undergo specific tests to determine their intoxication level. These tests include field sobriety tests, blood tests, breath tests, and urine tests.
Breath tests can be conducted in two ways. One method involves using a handheld device, commonly known as a Breathalyzer, which a police officer keeps in their car. While the results of these handheld devices are not admissible in West Virginia courts, they can lead to an DUI arrest.
The second method involves a stationary machine at a police station or state trooper barracks. The results from these machines can be used as evidence in court. During this type of test, drivers are asked to blow into the device with maximum effort. The machine uses infrared waves to measure the level of alcohol in the sample by analyzing the unabsorbed energy. A higher absorption of infrared light indicates a higher Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
In West Virginia, the legal alcohol limit is 0.08 percent. If a driver’s breath test results exceed this limit, they will be arrested for DUI per se, meaning their BAC serves as evidence of drunk driving. If the test results show a BAC of 0.17 percent or higher, the driver will face a more severe “high-test” DUI charge, which carries harsher penalties compared to a lower BAC level.
It’s important to note that a positive result from these tests does not necessarily guarantee accuracy. Various factors, such as the time elapsed between the person’s last drink and the test, any recent vomiting or burping, and adherence to proper testing procedures, can affect the test results. An experienced Wheeling WV DUI lawyer will understand these factors and can potentially challenge the test results in court.
Urine and Blood Tests
When it comes to determining if a driver is under the influence, urine and blood tests are commonly used for detecting drug presence, and in some cases, alcohol. Typically, these tests are administered after a driver has refused a breath test. Refusing to take the urine or blood test is an option, but be aware that the officer can obtain a search warrant to compel you to comply.
To ensure accuracy and reliability, strict procedures and protocols govern the administration of urine and blood tests. Here are a few key points to consider:
- Collection: A trained witness must be present when collecting your blood or urine sample.
- Timing: The sample must be collected within three hours of the alleged offense.
- Confirmation: Samples that yield positive results must undergo a secondary test for confirmation.
- Analysis: Tests must adhere to West Virginia regulations and be conducted by qualified personnel in accordance with state law.
It is crucial to note that any deviations from the above guidelines can compromise the integrity of the results. An inaccurate portrayal of intoxication could occur when the driver is in fact sober. In such instances, an experienced Wheeling WV criminal attorney may be able to challenge the admissibility of these results, boosting your chances of having the charges reduced or dismissed.
Warnings and Advice From Law Enforcement in Regards to Chemical Tests
When law enforcement suspects that drivers are intoxicated, they may request them to undergo chemical testing. During this request, officers are required to inform drivers of their rights, both verbally and in writing. The written form used for this purpose is West Virginia Bureau of Motor Vehicles Form 2255. This document notifies drivers that they are under arrest and must submit to one or more chemical tests within two hours. Failure to comply is considered a refusal and will lead to an immediate suspension of the driver’s license. Additionally, the form informs drivers that they have the right to request their own independent test, which they are responsible for paying.
To ensure compliance, the arresting officer must read the Form 2255 to the driver, and another officer often acts as a witness by certifying this procedure. Subsequently, the form is handed to the driver, serving as evidence that they are aware of their rights and that law enforcement followed the necessary protocols.
Can I Refuse to Submit to a Test?
You might believe that the police had no valid reason to pull you over, or that you were not intoxicated at the time. However, it is generally in your best interest to comply with the testing. Refusing to do so can result in more complications than a positive test result.
Should you find yourself receiving a positive result from a blood, breath, or urine test, don’t lose hope.
Reach out to Wheeling WV DUI lawyer Sean Logue, who possesses expert knowledge of DUI laws and procedures. Contact us today to seek professional assistance!
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