DUI Blood Test

Has your blood been taken for alcohol or a controlled substance test and you are facing possible criminal charges? Contact Palm Beach County Law Firm Bottari & Doyle at 561-588-2781.


Legal Blood:
Legal blood is obtained by a law enforcement officer asking the suspected impaired driver to give a blood sample for the purpose of detecting intoxicants. There are certain prerequisites and procedures that must be followed for a law enforcement officer to lawfully obtain legal blood:

  1. The officer must have a reasonable belief that the driver was impaired by alcohol, controlled or chemical substances.
  2. The driver must appear for treatment at a hospital, clinic, or other medical facility.
  3. The taking of a breath or urine test must be impractical or impossible.
  4. The blood test must be performed in a reasonable manner.

If the driver cannot refuse the blood test due to unconsciousness or a mental or physical condition, then the blood test may still be administered despite the absence of the implied consent warnings.If the driver is capable of refusing the blood test, then implied consent warnings must be read to him or her. Like refusals to breathalyzers and urine tests, a driver’s refusal to take a blood test will be used against the driver in court as evidence of a guilty conscience.

Medical Blood: A physician, nurse or other qualified professional who provides medical treatment to a person injured in a car accident and becomes aware through a blood test that the injured person’s blood alcohol level is .08 or higher, may inform any law enforcement officer or agency of the results. The process of informing is called notice. Certain procedures involving notice must be followed by the medical provider for a law enforcement officer to lawfully obtain the results of medical blood.
  1. The notice by the medical provider must be given to the law enforcement officer or agency within a reasonable time after the results of the blood test are received by the medical provider.
  2. The notice must only be provided to give the officer reasonable cause to request the withdrawal of a blood sample.
  3. The notice cannot include anything other than the name of the injured person, the name of the professional who took the blood, the blood alcohol level of the injured person as a result of the blood test, and the date and time that the test was given to the injured person.
  4. The injured person has the right to have his blood independently tested, and a law enforcement officer cannot impede his or her ability have an independent test. The law enforcement officer must provide the injured person with timely telephone access to get the test. 
For the prosecutor to obtain the results of medical blood, he or she must issue a subpoena for the medical records. The prosecutor must show that the results of the blood test are relevant to the DUI investigation, and that the above notice requirements were followed. If the medical professional disclosed too much information to a law enforcement officer or agency then the injured person’s privacy rights were infringed upon, which may result in suppression or inadmissibility of the blood test results in court.
If you have been arrested for DUI, please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Palm Beach criminal defense attorney at Bottari & Doyle.