What Is The Chain Of Custody In A Blood Test?
Chain of custody pertains to the evidence in a DUI case. The government has to share every person who has had the opportunity to tamper with it. The arresting officer will usually collect it, put their initials on it, and then put it into evidence at the department. Either the technician or the officer will later send it to the lab. It has to be documented how many days it’s sitting in the evidence room and then, if the evidence technician sends it to the lab for analysis, that evidence technician has to sign that he had custody over it and sent it. Once it reaches the lab, the lab technicians have to check that the seal is intact and could not have been tampered with. If a chain of custody is broken and they can’t account for where the sample was for a period of time, or who handled it, it can be used as a defense.
How Do You Defend Your Clients Against Blood Test Results In A DUI Case?
Some of the defense strategies we use is how accurate the blood tests are. We check the chain of custody and we check the analysts at the lab to make sure they’re properly trained. Some of the defenses we’ve used are improper labelling or partial samples. Then, there is improper analysis. I can pull all the procedures that analysts have to follow in analyzing a sample. In the process of a blood draw, we make sure the person who has done the blood draw is certified. We’ve seen cases where a lab technician has let their certification lapse and that has come into play to get the blood sample thrown out. Sometimes, the sample is not immediately logged into evidence or is stored improperly; it could be damaged from lack of refrigeration. Humans make mistakes.
Are Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Generally Requested In These Types Of Cases?
Initially, the standardized sobriety tests are requested in cases where something other than alcohol is suspected. Some officers have special training and are drug recognition experts. There are a couple of standardized field sobriety tests that they can use out in the field, including the walk and turn, the one leg stand, and the horizontal gaze. Those tests are used to check for substances other than alcohol but they have to have the drug recognition expert.
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