Compared to other tests and devices, blood alcohol testing is the most accurate procedure in measuring the amount of alcohol in a person's body. Ordinarily, the blood alcohol level (BAC) reaches its peak approximately an hour after consumption, but the test could still yield accurate results up to 70 minutes after an individual stopped drinking.
However, factors such as food consumption could either slow down or speed up the absorption of alcohol in a person's blood. When defending a suspected DWI offender, Attorney Russman may bring up such factors to cast a doubt on blood test results.
New Hampshire Drunk Driving Law Standards for Testing
Under New Hampshire DWI laws, a law enforcement officer can request that an individual submit to a blood test if symptoms indicate intoxication while operating a vehicle. Standards specified in NH DWI laws need to be met when conducting such a test.
First, NH drunk-driving rules require tests to be administered either by a licensed physician or certified medical staff. The blood samples will then be analyzed in a state-approved forensic science laboratory or any facility licensed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Blood test results may be considered by the court as admissible evidence provided the test was conducted in the manner prescribed by the applicable New Hampshire DWI regulations.
DWI Defense Related to Blood Alcohol Testing
The blood-testing procedure called gas chromatography yields the most accurate among all types of blood tests. However, in spite of its reliability, drawing blood from an individual is still considered an invasive and very costly procedure.
For this reason, New Hampshire still allows the measurement of alcohol through a breathalyzer, which is definitely cheaper than conducting a blood test.
Even if a blood test is considered to be more accurate than a breath test, it still has flaws that could affect the outcome of a DWI court procedure. If there is enough evidence to prove an error on the side of the state, it could cast a doubt on the results which will help the defendant in the court proceedings.
First, there were NH drunk driving cases where law enforcement officers have used an expired kit. There were also cases where the person administering the test (phlebotomist) failed to use an anti-coagulant, a chemical used to prevent fermentation of the blood sample, which could lead to a higher BAC level reading. Storing the blood sample at an inappropriate temperature could also lead to fermentation.
There are also cases where it was not clear whether the blood drawn was the defendant's. Such cases could happen if the person handling the samples fails to puts the correct labels on the corresponding blood samples.
Finally, the laboratory responsible for the analysis could commit errors in the testing procedure. It could be a technical malfunction of the machine used for the analysis. For this reason, Attorney Russman will carefully look at the chromatograms.
There are legitimate defenses that build upon possible errors in the administration of blood tests or analysis of the blood samples. Attorney Russman will make it his business to get all relevant records pertaining to the evidence of his clients' intoxication.
Casting doubt on the accuracy of the blood test results could be the focus of the defense because it could eventually lead to the discharge of the defendant from all charges.