Most people believe that blood test results are more reliable than breath test results; this is often not the case. Fighting a blood test case can be easier than defending a breath test case.
Blood samples are often difficult to track, and can lead to serious "chain of custody" issues. If any of the links of the chain of custody are missing, the blood result may be compromised. Blood samples also must be preserved with certain chemical agents for accurate testing. Each blood sample tube should contain a preservative and an anti-coagulant to preserve the blood sample for testing. If there is not the proper amount of the chemicals in relation to the blood, the preservative and anti-cogulatant would act as "salting out agents" and the blood alcohol result would be rendered inaccurate.
Issues in a Blood Test case can include the following:
- Blood sample not properly taken by a qualified phlebotomist;
- Utilizing a swab that contains alcohol to clean the site where the blood is drawn;
- Mistakenly obtaining the blood via an artery, and not a vein;
- Improper mixing of the blood sample once drawn with the requisite chemicals and anti-coagulant that should preserve the blood sample;
- Failure to preserve vials so that retesting is possible if needed;
- Chain of custody issues for anyone who handled the blood after drawn;
- Improper storage and whether the blood sample was refrigerated at the correct temperature;
- Mistakes with the conversion of the plasma blood test result to whole blood;
- Unsanitary lab issues;
- Improper search warrant issues in a forced blood draw;
- Expired Blood Test Kits;
- Fermentation of the blood sample: fermentation can result when the blood sample is combined with microorganisms. There is NO WAY to distinguish between alcohol consumed by a subject and alcohol CREATED BY FERMENTATION.
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