Testing for Breath and Blood: The Process
After conducting the field sobriety tests, an officer of law will proceed to do the chemical tests to make sure that you are intoxicated. These tests comprise of breath, blood and urine tests. Take a look at each of these tests in the article below.
Normally, the breath test is compulsory for you as you agreed to it beforehand, while applying for your driver's license. However, at times the officer still administers the other two tests at the Bakersfield police station to confirm his suspicion. Sometimes, the suspect refuses to undergo the breath test for the reason that its results can be skewed. In that case too, he has to take the urine or blood tests at the station.
This is the most preliminary test and helps the officer find out whether or not you have alcohol in your bloodstream. The officer of law dealing with a suspect will administer a breath test using a breathalyzer on you on the road. You are then asked to breathe on the breathalyzer that will measure the amount of alcohol in your system. If the results exhibit an alcohol level of 35 micrograms or more, the Bakersfield police will most likely arrest you.
Only a uniformed officer can administer this test, and only when he has a logical evidence can he doubt you. As there exists a discrepancy in the results of the roadside breathalyzers, officers might take you to the station to perform the urine or blood tests, as both these tests are considered to be more reliable.
When you are brought to the Bakersfield police station, you will be asked to give two more breath samples on a bigger breath testing machine. The officer must use the lower result reading of both the specimens, and should ignore the other readings.
If the lower reading of both the breath samples is 50mg or less, then you can request the officer to take blood samples. This specimen then helps in determining whether or not you have committed a crime. Moreover, the results of the breath tests do not hold significance then, and only the results of the blood or urine tests are taken into account.
If your breath sample is around 50mg, you can request the officer to use either your blood or urine sample. Both these tests are considered more reliable and accurate compared to the breath test.
The Bakersfield police officer may also ask you to undergo a blood test if you are unable to take a breath test due to some medical disorder, such as emphysema or chronic asthma. On taking the blood test, your results are observed for the presence and amount of alcohol. If you have around 107 milligram or a higher level of alcohol per 100 milliliters of urine; or around 80 milligram of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, then you are considered to be intoxicated and will be charged with DWI offense.
Not taking the Test
If you fail to undertake a test when asked by an officer of law, then there is a good chance that you will suffer from criminal prosecution. There are three offences related to this:
- Not Co-operating with the Officer regarding the Preliminary Test: If you do not take the preliminary breath test on the roadside when asked by the officer, you commit this crime. The greatest punishment for this particular offence comprises of acquiring four punishment points that will stay on your driver's license for around four years. Either this or you would be disqualified from driving for a period ranging from twelve to thirty six months and will also have to submit a The amount of fine varies from country to country.
- Not Providing a Sample for Test and Analysis: If you do not agree on providing a breath, urine or blood sample to the Bakersfield police officer at the station, then you will be charged with this The degree of punishment for this crime varies and depends on two things: whether the criminal was in charge of the automobile, or whether he was driving or trying to drive the automobile. If you do not provide a sample for testing after trying to drive the automobile, then either you will get three to eleven punishment points on your driver's license that will stay on it for about eleven years; or you will be disqualified from driving for about twelve to thirty six months. You might also be imprisoned for six months, and will have to pay a heavy fine.
The amount of fine varies from country to country. In case you don't give a sample after you have been taken into custody for being in charge of the automobile, then you will either get ten punishment points on your driver's license for about four years or you will be disqualified from driving for about twelve to thirty six months. This is all besides an imprisonment of three months, and a fine which varies from country to country.
- Not Permitting to Take a Lab test: If an officer takes a sample of your breath, urine or blood, he cannot conduct a laboratory test on it unless you permit him to do so. If you
do not give your permission, then you will be charged with this offense and will be penalized according to the punishments mentioned in the offense explained above.
If you have a reasonable excuse, you will be given some flexibility. The reasonable excuse normally includes some kind of mental illness or family problem. In a similar case, the suspect suffered from a breathing disorder and the Bakersfield police considered it as a reasonable excuse for not providing a breath sample. In another case, the suspect failed to provide a blood specimen because he had aversion to blood. However, the judge did not accept this excuse as a reasonable one.
Moreover, according to law, waiting for an attorney to arrive is not a reasonable justification for not taking a test. If the lawyer is available on the sight, then the officer could wait for a few minutes, but not for long. He has to take the sample after waiting for a couple of minutes.
If the Bakersfield police officer charges you unfairly and you haven't attempted to drive, or weren't driving or in charge of the automobile, then you have the right to refuse to any test and this will be considered as reasonable excuse. If you have been charged with DUI offense, then it is a sensible thing to hire an attorney and seek his expert advice. The lawyer will be able to analyze your case and give you expert advice accordingly.