When you are stopped on suspicions of DUI, you are typically asked to undergo a number of tests. These primarily include field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer test. You can refuse both. Refusing the field tests may not incur any penalties. However, you will be in violation of implied consent if you refuse the breath test. Penalties for refusal include license suspension for six months. You can also choose between a breath test and a blood test. A blood test is more accurate and takes more time whereas a breath test can be conducted on spot. If you are going to have your blood tested, you also have the option of choosing independent testing.
What Is an Independent Test?
This is how the standard DUI blood test procedure works: you agree to provide a sample of blood to the police officer. The officer then has the sample analyzed and tested by a designated expert.
You also have the right to have another sample of blood tested by an independent laboratory of your choice. The results of this test remain with you and you can later produce them as evidence in the court.
How Independent Testing Works?
When you are arrested for DUI, the arresting officer is required by law to read out your rights to you before conducting a breath test. When stating these rights, the officer essentially tells you that you can choose to have your blood test conducted independently. The officer also states that you will be provided ‘affirmative assistance’ by the officer in doing so.
This means that should you make the request, the officer may be obliged to help you in submitting a sample for independent testing. All expenses for the independent test fall on you.
There is no clear explanation of what ‘affirmative assistance’ constitutes. At the very least, the arresting officer will be obliged to take you to the nearest healthcare facility for the purpose of an independent blood test.
If the officer fails to speak out your rights, refuse a request for independent testing or fail to provide affirmative assistance, the results of the breath or blood test may no longer be admissible in the court.
Why Choose Independent Testing?
You may want to request independent testing after a DUI arrest for a number of reasons. A blood test is typically more reliable and accurate, whereas a breath test may often return faulty results. So if you are being charged with felony DUI, it is definitely worth it to opt for a blood test. Choosing a medical facility or physician of your choice can also have an impact on the results. A facility with more cutting-edge and reliable equipment may provide more accurate results for the blood test, compared to the standard choice of the police.
When you request independent testing, you are not required to share the details of the test results with the prosecution. So you essentially have an important piece of evidence that can be used for your defense by your Clemson, SC DUI defense attorney. If the results are favorable, your attorney can use them to argue for a lower sentence or to have the DUI charges dismissed. If the test results do not favor you, independent testing may still demonstrate your good faith to a jury in a trial.
Another point to consider is the timing. Blood alcohol concentration typically continues to rise for at least two hours after your last drink, and then begins to fall. If you are in the falling phase, choosing a blood test may bide you precious time. This is because a breath test is typically conducted at the spot whereas the officer will have to transport you to a medical facility to conduct the independent test.
Hiring a Reliable Clemson DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI offense in Clemson, it is important to hire a reliable Clemson DUI attorney as soon as possible. A good attorney will start building your defense right from the DUI arrest. If you have undergone blood or breath test, the attorney will determine if these tests were properly conducted. The attorney will also take into consideration the results of any independent tests you may have requested.
Here at The Bateman Firm, our attorneys specialize in helping you defend DUI charges. We work with the specific circumstances of your case and seek to have the charges dismissed or reduced to a lower offense. Contact us today to discuss your case with our attorneys and book a FREE consultation.