San Diego DUI Law Center

Blood Test Defenses

San Diego DUI Blood Tests may be attacked in your San Diego drunk driving case and/or DMV hearing. Here’s San Diego California DUI attorney Rick Mueller’s top tactical illustrations:

  1. Fermentation – Increase in BAC by the neoformation of alcohol in blood tube after blood draw and before analysis, as a result of insufficient sodium fluoride preservative or a delay between blood draw and actual analysis. San Diego area crime laboratories routinely wait a number of days or weeks – before testing blood for alcohol levels. Due to lack of proper funding, these cheaper tubes normally have an insufficient level of sodium fluoride preservative.
  2. Blood clotting or coagulating.
  3. Hemolysis – In relation to BAC, hemolysis may alter the blood matrix & increase BAC. Hemolysis destroys erythrocytes, causes unreliable ABO/Rh testing. Hemolysis can be caused by intensive shaking of the blood tube and/or presence of hypertonic salts such as Sodium Fluoride.
  4. Contamination (from an outside source – as a result of swabbing skin, e.g. with Zephiran containing 2% ethyl alcohol).
  5. Lack of entire chain of custody and/or wrong blood specimen.
  6. Improper blood draw or problem with administration of test.
  7. Lack of compliance with proper standards or California Code of Regulations, Title 17 (e.g. failure to maintain integrity of sample from collection to storage to analysis to reporting, or failure to mix blood sample with anticoagulant or preservative).
  8. Unqualified analyst tests the blood.
  9. A more appropriate prosecution expert fails to testify at trial.
  10. Blood test report or record not made at or near time of analysis, or method of preparation, source of information or time of preparation report untrustworthy or sufficiently suspect.
  11. Incompetent or unauthorized blood technician draws blood.