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Fermentation in DUI Blood Tests

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What Is the Effect of Fermentation in DUI Blood Tests?

Law enforcement officers use results from DUI blood testing as evidence in driving under the influence cases. However, things are not always so cut and dried. An attorney who understands DUI laws can tell you that fermentation, which occurs naturally over time, can increase alcohol concentration within the blood sample.

This can happen due to delays in transporting a blood sample to the lab, lab schedule congestion, or neglect. Blood is an organic material that can decompose due to enzymes and bacterial action. This decomposition results in the production of alcohol in the blood. Depending on the stage of decay, it can cause a reading of .25% or higher, even in a sample that initially contained no alcohol.

If your blood alcohol concentration was within the legal limit but increased in the sample due to fermentation after a blood draw, your attorney can use this as a defense in court.

Anything over 0.08% B.A.C. is above the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in California. If the police draw your blood and, after testing, the results show it is higher than the legal limit, they can charge you with a DUI offense.

However, blood tests are not 100% reliable. This is why experienced DUI attorneys can use inconsistencies in your blood test results to fight against the charge.

In California, a DUI conviction can result in serious legal consequences, including fines, jail time, and license suspension. A felony DUI, typically the result of multiple DUI convictions or an accident that causes injury or death, can lead to even harsher penalties, including long-term imprisonment and significant fines.

It is crucial for anyone facing a DUI charge in California to seek the advice of a qualified attorney to understand the potential consequences of a conviction and to protect their legal rights.

How Does Fermentation Increase Alcohol Levels in a Blood Sample?

Fermentation is a natural process that occurs when blood samples are not handled or stored correctly. The enzymes and bacteria present in the blood break down sugars and other organic compounds, producing alcohol as a byproduct. This can lead to inaccurate results in DUI blood tests, as the alcohol produced by fermentation may be mistaken for alcohol consumed by the person tested.

To prevent fermentation, blood samples for DUI tests should be collected and stored correctly, including using a sodium fluoride preservative. After collection, they should also be analyzed as soon as possible to ensure the most accurate results.

It is important to note that the results of DUI blood tests may be subject to interpretation. It is also crucial that the person being tested is given their rights before the test is conducted. In court, the prosecution bears the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the defense attorney may challenge the accuracy of the blood test results by arguing that fermentation may have occurred and that the results are unreliable.

How May a Defense Attorney Challenge the Accuracy of Blood Testing?

In a DUI case, a defense attorney may challenge the accuracy of blood test results by questioning the integrity of the sample, the methods used for analysis, or the qualifications of the lab or technician. They may also argue that factors such as fermentation or contamination may have affected the results. Several factors may contribute to the occurrence of fermentation, leading to an overestimation of the alcohol concentration in blood samples at the time of collection.

Improper Blood Draw

Proper blood collection techniques are crucial to ensure the accuracy of blood test results in a DUI case. It is recommended that blood samples are collected from suitable veins, such as the basilic or cephalic veins, as drawing blood from other areas of the body may result in inaccurate test results.

Blood Tube Missing Proper Amounts of Chemicals

Blood tubes may contain the proper levels of preservatives and anticoagulants. If any of the two is not available in the correct amount, the results from the blood test may be compromised. Sodium fluoride is used as a preservative to ensure that the blood does not ferment and raise the BAC.

Additionally, potassium oxalate is an anticoagulant used in blood tubes, and blood clotting will occur without it. Blood clots affect the ethanol released into the headspace.

Salting Out Effect

Sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate are chemical preservatives used in blood sample collection and preservation. Suppose the levels of these preservatives in the blood sample exceed the recommended levels. In that case, it can result in a decrease in the salt concentration of the blood, leading to an increase in the amount of alcohol that enters the headspace of the blood vial. This “salting out effect” can result in an overestimation of BAC.

How Can the Law Office of Chris Chaney Help Your Case?

Blood sample results are key evidence in most cases of DUI. Remember that you may pay hefty penalties or receive jail time if the judge rules that you are guilty of DUI drugs or any other cases under DUI.

Committing a DUI is a serious offense that can lead to license revocation and other penalties. If you are charged with other serious crimes, like DUI with an accident, and the judge convicts you, the punishment will be even more severe.

Chris Chaney is a dedicated attorney who prioritizes the interests of his clients. If you choose to work with him, he will tirelessly fight for your freedom and rights.

The team at the Law Office of Chris Chaney conducts thorough investigations to determine if any actors that may affect the accuracy of blood test results, such as contamination or improper storage, were present in the collection of your blood alcohol specimen.

A felony DUI in California carries severe legal consequences. It is essential to work with an experienced attorney who can provide guidance on whether your DUI charge is classified as a felony and help navigate the legal system.

Contact Us

A DUI conviction can ruin your life. That is why we advise contacting the Law Office of Chris Chaney soon after your arrest. Chris Chaney is an experienced DUI attorney with a good understanding of DUI laws. His experience in this field allows him to use blood fermentation to defend your blood alcohol concentration level.

Remember to ask for an attorney as soon as you are arrested. If you talk to the police, whatever you say can be used against you. Contact our law firm today to talk to an attorney and get started on your case.

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Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. We are ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact us today to schedule a free remote or in-person consultation, and let us assist you in finding a solution to your problem.