Who Can Draw Blood Samples for a DWI in Minnetonka?
When the police suspect that you are operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, they typically ask you for a breath sample to measure your blood alcohol concentration. What many people do not realize is that in some cases the police have the ability to ask for a blood sample instead.
The courts treat blood draws differently than breath or urine tests. Unlike giving a breath or urine sample, blood draws are invasive and can be painful. For that reason, there are limits on who can take a blood sample from you.
No matter what type of chemical test the police request, it is vital that you seek legal counsel immediately after an arrest. In some cases, our firm could have the results of your test thrown out. Contact the attorneys of Gerald Miller to learn about your defense options.
The Ability to Draw Blood Samples in Minnetonka
There are no limitations on which officers can collect a breath or urine test during a DWI investigation. The same is not true for collecting blood samples. This should come as no surprise, as a degree of medical training is necessary in order for a person to safely obtain a blood sample from another person.
Most officers lack the medical training needed to take a blood sample. For that reason, many officers opt to take a suspect to a local medical facility in order to have a nurse draw the blood. Once the blood samples are drawn, it is up to the officer to secure the chain of custody on the sample and ensure it is tested.
There are real consequences for the state if a blood sample is drawn by an unauthorized person. It is possible to contaminate a blood sample, which makes an unauthorized draw a strong potential defense. It could be possible to have the results of a blood test excluded from trial if your attorney can establish that the draw was handled by an unauthorized person.
Who Selects The Type of Test?
When an officer suspects a driver of DWI, they have the power to select the type of test they will offer to the driver. There are three options available to law enforcement: breath, blood, or urine. The refusal to submit to the test requested by the police could lead to additional charges against the defendant. However, there are limited circumstances when a defendant has the right to request a different option for testing.
If the police officer requests a breath sample from the accused, there is little that person can do to secure a different option. There is not an option to request a blood or urine sample instead unless the individual has a health issue that prevents them from giving a breath sample. Outside of this limited exception, a driver must give the sample or face a refusal charge.
There are options available to a driver if the arresting officer selects a blood sample or urine test. In this situation, the driver has the right to request a different option than the one offered by the officer.
When a Warrant is Necessary In Minnetonka
A police officer has the option to choose which test to request, but that does not mean they can secure a blood sample without a warrant. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that removing blood from a person’s body is a seizure protected against by the Constitution. In order to secure a blood sample, the police need consent or a warrant.
The warrant requirement is one of the primary reasons the police do not go with a blood test for their first choice. There is also the potential delay between a traffic stop and the blood draw if the officer is required to take the driver to a nearby medical facility. That said, a blood draw might be the only option in some cases. Following an accident, an injured driver might not be capable of giving any other type of sample. If the police request a blood sample without a warrant, our firm could help you pursue a dismissal of your case.
Talk to an Attorney About Your DWI Case
The attorneys of Gerald Miller could review the facts surrounding your blood samples and advise you if there are grounds to have the results thrown out. To learn how we could help with your case, call for a free consultation today.