DUI: What About Blood Tests?

Question: I got arrested by a Gwinnett County police officer and I took a blood test, and I don't know what I should do. I mean, I don't know if blood tests are accurate or if the police can even make me take one and I don't know what to think about them. Just because they have my blood, does that really help the police and the prosecutors?

I was driving home to Duluth after I and some friends went to an Atlanta Hawks basketball game and I was the designated driver. I usually don't drink except for special occasions like weddings or celebrations, that kind of thing. We went to a Mexican restaurant in Lawrenceville after the game and I had a taco salad and a couple of beers and a wine. I'm a pretty small lady and I think the beers hit me harder than other people, like my boyfriend who's over six feet tall and weighs about 230 pounds.

So I got stopped by a Gwinnett County cop and he said he smelled alcohol I didn't want to lie so I said I had a couple of beers. He looked at my eyes and made me walk a line he finally arrested me and he asked me to take a blood test which I did. I don't know if I should have taken the blood test but I did. Now I'm worried that the results of the blood test will be really bad.

I work for a luxury car dealer selling cars like Mercedes, Porsche, and Bentleys and I need my license so I really want to know about the blood test and what I should do.

S.F. in Duluth, GA

Answer: Blood tests are considered the most accurate method of measuring blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Usually taken at a hospital or a police station, a blood test is admissible as evidence under Georgia law.

The analysis of the blood is done at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Division of Forensic Sciences lab. There are 7 lab locations throughout Georgia.

If a person doesn't agree to take a blood test, an officer can try to get a warrant for a blood test. With a valid warrant signed by a judge, the police can forcibly take your blood.

Since the body metabolizes alcohol at a steady rate after drinking, the time that passes between drinking and collecting the blood sample will affect the results. Therefore, the police want to have the test conducted as quickly as possible from the time of a driving incident.

Whether the blood test helps the prosecutors really depends on the results. If the results are less than .08 it can certainly help your defense; if greater than .08 it can aid the prosecution. If the test comes back greater than .08 you can be charged with DUI per se; with a result less than .08, the charge is DUI less safe.

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