DUI Tests – Blood vs Breath

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

When it comes to testing a person’s alcohol concentration (BAC), most people are aware of several options to test this. Typically, the DUI tests used in Nevada are either a Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer machine or a blood withdrawal. It should be noted that urine is a possibility, but rarely used.

When faced with the two tests, both are substantially different, yet both seek a common goal (finding your BAC), the question then becomes, which one does one choose?

Each test has its own advantages and disadvantages, making the choice a confusing matter.

Some people feel that blood is more accurate and therefore the better choice, while others a scared of needles and will chose a Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer over the blood.

The truth is the main difference is how a criminal defense attorney will build a defense and attack the evidence. Furthermore, it also will change the time frame when one will receive a notice from the DMV suspending one’s license.

DUI Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer Testing

A Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer test tends to be the most error prone test of them all, and an experienced Attorney will know this and build a defense around this. There can be issues with the machine not working properly, operator error in obtaining the results, not obtaining results within 2 hours, the test subject’s own conditions that may impact the results, and more. A breath test machine allows for a “hat trick” of sorts of an attack on the machine, operator, and test subject.

DUI Blood Testing

This tends to be a more accurate of the testing methods; after all it is testing the “B” in BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) that is being tested. If you goal is to have an accurate test then this would be the route to go, but it may give your Attorney less areas to focus his or hers defense on. There are defenses of course. An attorney can challenge the blood by having it retested, chain of custody issues, the lab was not trained and certified, it was not within 2 hours, retrograde extrapolation defenses, and most recently if the blood was taken without a warrant. Keep in mind, if one has it retested, the prosecution may have it retested for any other prohibited/controlled substance as well.

It is ultimately up to the individual to choose what test is right for them. However, from years of experience, we have found a Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer tests result provide for a better defense. Contact The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata to discuss your DUI case and defenses.

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