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Seeking New DUI Evidence, Police Learn To Draw Blood

Unrecognizable police officer puts handcuffs on a man for drunk driving. The man is standing next to the car.

A DUI defense attorney in Michigan reveals what you should know

In search of new evidence to present in DUI trials, the state of Georgia is training police officers on how to draw a suspect's blood for intoxication analysis.

Over the past five years or so, serious scandals over the accuracy of breathalyzer test results have rocked the justice system's faith in the equipment. Many police departments and district attorneys' offices have stopped using breath tests as DUI evidence. So, attention has turned to another way to check for BAC levels — blood tests.

Not just anyone can draw a person's blood, though.

A $44,000 grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association will cover education for some Georgia state and local officers as well as blood drawing equipment, according to the Associated Press. While Georgia is teaching cops how to stick people with needles following traffic stops, Michigan is taking DUI (also known as DWI) suspects to nearby hospitals. There, medical staff can take blood samples for BAC (blood alcohol content) analysis.

Breathalyzer test results are easily thrown off by outside factors like user error and defective equipment. Even though law enforcement wants people to believe differently, blood tests are vulnerable to the same corrupting factors as breath tests.

For example, Michigan has largely moved away from using breathalyzers right now, in part because State Police allege the company hired to maintain BAC testing equipment gave them false certification records. Blood BAC testing equipment is just as vulnerable to poor maintenance as breath ones.

Breathalyzers are still in use

Breathalyzers might be down, but not out.

In Michigan, as is the case in some other states, results of a hand-held breathalyzer, a PBT, are often considered too flimsy to be submitted as evidence during DUI trials. Still, the equipment has a purpose within police departments. Officers still use breathalyzers during roadside sobriety tests to support DUI probable cause and blood draws.

Blood BAC tests, however, are not ideal for police departments. This type of test can be expensive and time-consuming. Training police officers to do the draws themselves is expected to help with this.

Talk to a DUI defense lawyer today

While BAC tests can produce false results, don't expect a prosecutor to say that. If you are facing DUI charges in Michigan, you need a proven and aggressive criminal defense lawyer. Manley & Manley has been fighting hard for our clients since the 1980s.

If you're facing DUI charges in the Flint region, it's a good idea to talk to a lawyer who understands the significant limits of breath and blood BAC tests. Defending people accused of DUI is what our law firm does. Tearing apart weak evidence is our hallmark.

No matter how equipment and technology evolve, or what laws are enacted, we know how to adapt to get you the best defense, bar none. Our law firm offers free case reviews to potential clients. A member of our legal team will listen to the details of your case. Then we can help you understand how the law applies to your situation and explain your legal options.

Contact us today to schedule a free case review with an experienced DUI defense attorney—and start taking control of your case right now.

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