California DUI – Chemical Test Laws:

Blood Test. For purposes of the implied consent law, blood will only be drawn at the request of a peace officer and only by a physician, nurse, licensed laboratory technologist or bio-analyst, specified regulated unlicensed laboratory personnel, or certified paramedic. Blood should be taken as soon as possible after the alleged offense, and enough should be taken to permit duplicate determinations. Whatever blood remains after the test must be retained for one year after the date of collection and must be available to the defendant should he or she request it for additional testing.

Urine Test. This test no longer has to be offered in most cases. In those cases where a urine test is used, to obtain an approved urine sample, the defendant must initially void his or her bladder in the administering officer’s presence. This first sample is not the approved sample and there is no requirement that it be retained. However, it lawfully may be retained and introduced into evidence at the defendant’s trial. At least 20 minutes after the first sample is given, the defendant must urinate a second time, giving the approved sample.

Breath Test. Any breath sample must be collected only after the arrestee has been under continuous observation for at least 15 minutes before its collection. (California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Section 1219.3)

During that time, he or she must not have regurgitated, eaten, drunk, smoked, or vomited. The observation need not be by one single officer, so long as another officer continues to observe for the remainder of the 15 minutes without any gap in between. There are many important rules and cases relating to the required observation for both the hand-held breath test gadget (in the field) and the implied consent breath test (at the jail or station).

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