Blood Testing In Massachusetts DUI Accidents
OUI arrests involving blood tests can involve either a hospital blood test or a police ordered blood draw. Either type of blood test can be challenged in court.
As with breath testing, do not assume that because there are blood test records that your case cannot be won at trial. The defenses to these cases can be more technical and scientific.
BLOOD TEST RESULTS FROM A HOSPITAL OR EMERGENCY ROOM
In many Massachusetts DUI arrests involving car accidents, the motorist will go to the hospital for treatment for injuries. The hospital will typically take the defendant’s blood and claim it is part of routine medical treatment. In most cases, the Commonwealth will seek a court order for production of the medical records in order to demonstrate your blood alcohol level.
There are several ways to prevent these records from coming into evidence. First, an objection can be made that the records are not relevant and that the Commonwealth should not be allowed access to your records as there is no probable cause to believe you were under the influence of alcohol. Second. an argument can be made to exclude the records from evidence based on a number of factors, including chain of custody, lack of your consent to the blood draw, and the fact that the blood was not drawn for medical purposes. These legal issues about whether the Blood results should be known by the jury will be part of motions heard prior to trial.
Blood alcohol evidence can be difficult for the Commonwealth to admit into evidence. Even if the Commonwealth obtains your medical records, the Sixth Amendment right of confrontation requires that the Commonwealth have hospital personnel available to testify who took your blood and requires that the Commonwealth have witnesses available to discuss how your blood was analyzed to determine your blood alcohol content.
Attorney DelSignore recently attended a seminar in Texas where he learned about blood testing in OUI cases and was able to explore the lab at the University of Texas at Alrington.
CONVERTING BLOOD RESULTS FOR USE IN COURT
In addition to satisfying the evidentiary requirements to admit blood alcohol test results into evidence, the Commonwealth is required to convert the reading taken at the hospital to a blood alcohol content. The hospital blood test is the serum portion of the blood. An individual’s serum blood alcohol level is higher than their actual blood alcohol content and requires that the reading be converted. The Office of Alcohol Testing has a chart that claims to make an accurate conversion of the blood alcohol reading at the hospital to a person’s actual blood alcohol level.
IS A HOSPITAL BLOOD DRAW SCIENTIFICALLY RELIABLE?
A hospital blood draw, while it may be admitted into court, is not a forensic test. The blood kit for the hospital specifically states that the results should not be used for forensic purposes. The most accurate way to test blood is through gas chromatography. This type of testing is not commonly used in Massachusetts unless there is a serious accident.
Attorney DelSignore explored the lab at the University of Texas, and spent time learning about Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. The lab visit was part of a seminar attended by Attorney DelSignore, in an effort to learn more about blood test results in OUI cases and how best to fight these cases in court.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT FIGHTING AN OUI WITH BLOOD TEST RESULTS
The scientific accuracy and reliability of this chart can be challenged by a Massachusetts OUI lawyer. Accordingly, if you are charged with DUI in Massachusetts and the Commonwealth is relying on hospital blood test results, you have numerous defenses to the admission of the test results coming into evidence that require the services of an experienced DUI lawyer.
If you were taken to the hospital, you may face an immediate threat suspension from the RMV, understand how to get your license back if this notice is sent by visiting Immediate Threat License Suspension in Massachusetts: How do I appeal the suspension?
- While on our website, feel free to learn more about Drunk Driving Accidents.
Contact Attorney DelSignore directly at 781-686-5924 to set up a FREE NO-OBLIGATION consultation or to get answers to your questions about an OUI with blood test results.