San Diego DUI Lawyer Explains Proper DUI Investigation and Chemical Testing Procedures

San Diego DUI Lawyer - Proper Procedures
There are many procedures in place to protect our rights and to (attempt to) ensure the accuracy of chemical testing, performed in bulk by county hospitals, police officers and crime labs.  These procedures are defined by the constitution, department policies and complex statutes.  Often, the employees who must abide by these guidelines do not understand what is required of them.

PROPER DUI INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES
One of the most important functions of law enforcement is to avoid trampling on citizens' rights.  While police do not usually see this as an important aspect of their jobs, the Constitution does.  If properly presented by a skilled attorney, a violation of your rights might move a judge to dismiss your case or exclude certain evidence as a remedy.  First, the police need a justification to initiate a traffic stop in most DUI investigations.  In DUI checkpoint scenarios, it is important to note that citizen cooperation is not required.  Motorists may make a legal turn to avoid a checkpoint, refuse to engage in a conversation with the officer and more.  Police are not permitted to (but often do), follow drivers who legally avoid passing through a checkpoint. 
More information about challenging DUI stops

Our courts have offered police very broad leeway in conducting DUI investigations, that would not be permissible in other criminal investigations.  One example is the attachment of Miranda rights.  As a general rule, when a suspect is not free to leave, they should be informed of their Miranda rights before questioning.  This is not the case with DUI, as law enforcement officers will ask for detailed admissions about drinking, driving, medications, drug use and more before making an arrest they intended to make all along.  Still, statements made once a suspect is in custody will be inadmissible if the officer failed to read the driver their rights.  An arrest made without sufficient evidence, or even before there is sufficient evidence.  Additionally, police must properly advise drivers of their rights and obligations under the law as it relates to submitting to a chemical test.  Drivers may refuse the PAS test, but if arrested, must submit to either a blood or breath test.  Failure to properly advise of these rights can lead to exclusion of a PAS result or negate a refusal allegation.

DUI CHEMICAL TESTING PROCEDURES
Most California DUI cases rely on one or more chemical test results of a driver's BAC.  These tests can include breath, blood or urine (less common, and usually only in drug cases).  The proper procedures for obtaining samples, storing samples, and performing laboratory tests on those samples are controlled by Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.

TITLE 17 AND BREATH ALCOHOL TESTING
In breath test cases, no breath sample is stored.  Nonetheless, Title 17 regulates how police are to administer breath tests.  The most frequently discussed of these procedures is the "15 minute observation period" prior a a breath test.  A police officer must continuously monitor the suspect for 15 minutes before administering breath tests.  This procedure seeks to ensure that the suspect does not burp, vomit, eat, drink, or smoke, all of which can affect breath test results.  In reality, the arresting officer will be busy driving, filling out paperwork, etc. at the same time that they claim to be monitoring the suspect.  Your San Diego DUI lawyer can use the officer's testimony, other witness testimony and video footage to contradict the officer's claim that the monitoring was done properly.

Additionally, Title 17 outlines how and how frequently breath, blood and urine testing devices must be calibrated to ensure their accuracy.  Your DUI attorney will inspect the calibration logs for the testing device to ensure that the agency has complied with Title 17 regulations.

TITLE 17 AND BLOOD ALCOHOL TESTING REGULATIONS
One of the more common applications of this law in blood test DUI cases is with the storage and preservation of the blood sample.  When the government takes a blood sample from a suspected impaired driver, it must properly preserve and retain an additional portion of blood and properly preserve the blood sample so as to make retesting possible.  A San Diego DUI Lawyer can get a portion of the sample by requesting a "Blood-Split" order from the court.  Once the "Blood-Split" is ordered, the government must turn over a portion of the sample to an independent laboratory chosen by the defense.  The sample is can be retested for a more accurate reading of alcohol or drugs, and also tested for preservatives, the proper storage and the other requirements of Title 17.  Any deviation from the strict standards of Title 17 can call into question all of the government's evidence in a DUI case.  If the person performing the blood draw or blood test is unable to follow the instructions in Title 17, how can the results be trusted to provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  Retesting a blood sample can also go to show certain medical defenses to DUI.

DUI CASES WE HANDLE:
FIRST DUI | DUI WITH A PRIOR | DRUG DUI | DMV HEARING | DUI W/ INJURY | FELONY DUI

OTHER DUI DEFENSES
:
RISING B.A.C.  | MOUTH ALCOHOL | PROBABLE CAUSE FOR STOP | MEDICAL CONDITIONS
DRIVING PATTERN | CHEMICAL TEST ACCURACY | FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS


If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with DUI in San Diego County, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar for a Free Consultation with a San Diego DUI Lawyer.  An experienced San Diego DUI Lawyer can assert the many defenses available in DUI cases and fight to keep your license and to keep your record clean.

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
San Diego DUI Lawyer
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
www.iDefendSanDiego.com
619-930-9515
By Nicholas Loncar         
 


Comments


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.


Leave a Reply