If you’ve been arrested after a DUI blood test in Florida, you may have a chance to defend yourself. Blood tests require police officers and medical professionals to follow strict procedures, which, if not followed correctly, could see your case thrown out.
What Next After a DUI Blood Test? Contact a DUI Defense Attorney
What you do next is crucial to avoid life-changing penalties and knock-on consequences. As detailed below, there are many regulations that are often violated that can see your case thrown out. However, if the evidence is not in your favor, then we will fight aggressively to reduce your sentences to protect your future.
We welcome you to contact our Florida criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation.
Can Police Request a Blood Test in Florida?
If police suspect you are drunk driving, they can ask you to perform a BAC (blood alcohol content) test. This test reveals whether you are over the legal limit of 0.08% for driving a vehicle in Florida. Usually, this test would be a breathalyzer test.
However, police can request a DUI blood test in Florida under certain circumstances that make a breathalyzer test difficult or impossible. According to Florida’s Implied Consent Law:
- Police may request a blood sample when a DUI suspect cannot provide a urine or breath test (due to impracticality or impossibility) while appearing for treatment at a hospital, clinic or another medical facility.
- Police may take a blood sample when a health care provider treating a person injured in an auto accident takes a blood test and notifies the police that the patient’s BAC is over the legal limit.
- Police may obtain a blood sample if a DUI suspect was involved in an auto accident and that caused death or serious bodily injury. Florida Statute 316.1933, states that this may be obtained even through ‘reasonable force’.
- Police may obtain a blood sample if a DUI suspect provides voluntary consent.
Read Related: What Happens During a DUI Traffic Stop in Florida
How Do DUI Blood Tests Work in Florida?
Even if the circumstances above are met, medical professionals and authorized technicians must follow strict procedures and regulations when obtaining and performing DUI blood tests. This includes the test, labeling, storage, transport and testing of the blood sample.
Any failure to comply with these laws can result in the blood test evidence being thrown out.
Florida’s Administrative Code states:
- Before the DUI blood test is performed, the skin puncture area must be cleaned with a non-alcohol-containing antiseptic.
- Blood samples must be collected in glass evacuate tubes that contain a preservative and anticoagulant.
- Immediately after collection, the glass tube must be inverted multiple times to mix the blood with the anticoagulant and preservative.
- The blood samples must be labeled with: the name of the person tested, test sample date and time and the initial of the individual who collected the blood sample.
- Blood samples don’t need to be refrigerated if submitted for analysis within 7 days of collections or during transportation or analysis.
- Blood samples must be refrigerated otherwise.
- Blood samples must be delivered by hand or mail for initial analysis within 30 days of the test and be initially analyzed within 60 days of arrival at the analysis facility.
- Blood samples not hand-delivered must be sent via priority mail, overnight delivery or similar delivery service.
- Blood must be withdrawn by a physician, certified paramedic, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, licensed lab director, supervisor, technician or technologist or another hospital-authorized person.
How to Defend a DUI Blood Test in Florida
If your DUI arrest is centered around a DUI blood test in Florida, then you may have a chance to defend yourself with the help of a criminal defense lawyer.
As you can read below, blood tests require strict regulations, and one misstep could see your blood sample no longer valid evidence.
Common defenses for a DUI blood test in Florida include:
- Alcohol was used to sterilize your skin before collection.
- Improper collection.
- Microorganism contamination.
- Lack of refrigeration, when required.
- The person performing or analyzing the test lacked training or certification.
- A breakdown in the chain of custody.
- Another testing non-compliance.
- A mix-up of samples.
- The blood sample kit had expired.
- Incorrect labeling.
- The blood sample was not mixed correctly with the preservatives and anticoagulants.
Defenses for a DUI in General
In any DUI case, there are also various circumstances where your rights can be violated, which can cause the case to be thrown out. These include:
- You were stopped with a lack of probable cause or reasonable suspicion.
- There was a lack of reasonable suspicion to request a BAC test.
- Lack of probable cause for the arrest.
- Lack of evidence that you caused the crash or that it resulted in death or bodily injury (if relevant).
- Misstatements of law, your rights and legal authority by the law enforcement officer.
- Invalid consent.
Reduce Your Sentence to Reckless Driving
If the evidence is stacked against you and you are set to be sentenced for a DUI, our Florida criminal defense attorneys will fight hard to minimize the penalties.
One route is by reducing your DUI to a reckless driving offense. While still a misdemeanor, this is a lesser offense without the stigma and repercussion of a DUI.
If you were arrested for a DUI in Pinellas County, you might also be eligible for the DUI Rehabilitation of Offenders Program (D.R.O.P).
This program allows you to get a rapid resolution to a first-time DUI offense, reducing your charge and getting your life back on track. It can help you keep your license, job and record clean.
Please contact our Florida DUI defense attorneys today to determine your eligibility for the D.R.O.P program.
Read Related: How to Keep My License After a DUI in Florida
DUI Penalties in Florida
DUI penalties in Florida are:
Penalties for a First-Time DUI Offense
- Maximum of 6 to 9 months in jail
- Between $983 in fines
- License suspension of up to 1 year
- A mandatory interlock ignition device for BAC above .15
- An ignition interlock breathalyzer device is installed on your motor vehicle.
Second and Third-Time DUI offenses
Second convictions within 5 years of the first or third convictions within 10 years of the previous result in increased penalties.
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- License suspension for up to 10 years
Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Florida to Defend a Blood Test.
If you’ve been arrested after a DUI blood test in Florida, then our DUI defense lawyers can help. Our Florida DUI defense attorneys can fight on your behalf to help you avoid jail time and avoid a criminal record.
Our criminal defense attorneys in Pinellas County at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., are part of one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with over 60 years of experience. We have the reputation and connections to make things happen.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300