In DUI alcohol content cases there are two ways to get a ‘test result’. First, a breath test. Second, a blood test. Breath tests are more often than not conducted at a police precinct. Blood tests, on the other hand, are more often than not conducted at a hospital. Breath test results are obtained immediately and the officer generally files his report with the prosecutor on the same date as the test. Conversely, blood test results are obtained weeks, or even months, after the samples are taken from the subject. The officer first takes the subject to the hospital to have the person’s blood drawn by a phlebotomist, and then he takes the vials of blood to the state toxicologist for testing. Once tested, the officer must retrieve the results, complete his report and file it with the prosecutor’s office.
Once blood samples arrive at the toxicology lab, they are stored. They may, or may not, be tested immediately. It all depends on the workload of the lab, which, as one can imagine, can often be quite hectic. The results generally take approximately 2-4 weeks to get back to the officer. Due to the nature of the blood testing process, there are a variety of legal issues that can come up in a blood test result DUI case. Such issues can include, among other things, whether the blood was properly handled when it was prepared for shipping to the toxicology lab, whether the toxicology lab appropriately handled and stored the vials, and whether the proper protocols were followed in analyzing and testing the blood test results.
Only a qualified DUI attorney can appropriately gauge whether there are salient legal issues to raise in a DUI blood test case. If you or a loved one is accused of DUI (whether there is a test result or not), you should immediately consult with a qualified Seattle DUI Attorney. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI lawyer, among other things, can quite possibly save the aggrieved person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees, the extent of loss of privilege to drive, and the amount of jail time to be served. We have said it before and will say it again, Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart and consult with a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for an alcohol and/or drug related DUI in Washington State.