What are your rights regarding DUI blood draws in Florida?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2022 | DUI Defense

Getting involved in a car accident is bad, but gettng into a car accident when you’re on the way home from a night out where you had a drink or two is worse – even when you are absolutely sure that you were sober enough to be driving.

Did you know, however, that police officers can sometimes force you to undergo a blood test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level without your consent or knowledge? This means that if you’re knocked unconscious in a crash, you could wake up from your injuries to find that you’re facing drunk driving charges (or worse, depending on what happened to anybody else involved in the wreck).

What gives the police the right to do invasive blood testing?

Generally speaking, every driver gives their “implied consent” to chemical testing upon demand if they’re suspected of drunk driving.This is usually a breath test or urine testing. A driver can withdraw that consent, however, subject to state penalties.

However, Fla. Stat. §316.1932(1)(c) gives the state the right to take a blood test under certain cricumstances if they have reasonable suspicion that the driver was intoxicated and a breath or urine test isn’t practical. That would include situations where you’re physically unable to give your consent – such as when you’re unconcious.

What happens if your blood test shows that you had alcohol in your system? What if you were over the legal limit when the blood draw was taken? That doesn’t mean your defense is hopeless. For example, here are some questions your defense can explore:

  • Does the blood test reflect your true BAC at the time of the wreck? Since BAC levels rise gradually, a delay could lead to an artificially high number on your test.
  • Was your blood test taken by the appropriate party? An EMT, for example, may not have taken the blood correctly.
  • Were there any issues with how the blood sample was handled? Chain of custody errors, mistakes with the storage of the blood, mishandling during processing or shipping and mistakes in the lab can all lead to reasonable doubt.

Don’t let a blood test – taken with or without your consent – convince you that your DUI case is hopeless. An experienced defense can help.