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Los Angeles DUI Blood Tests: Artery Versus Vein

  • May 26, 2017

    Driving under the influence anywhere is against the law. It is a dangerous endeavor to you and others. Therefore, it is the duty of any state’s authority to ensure that persons in this body state do not get behind the steering wheel for their sake and that of the public. As a result, a driver arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Los Angeles is presented with two options to take either a breath or a blood test. For clarity’s sake, none of the two tests is 100 % perfect, and tactics exist on how to challenge the results from both tests.

    For starters, the driver under test may challenge the test by how his blood sample was stored, or whether the sample tested was whole blood or plasma. Besides, he or she may counter whether the blood was drawn from an artery or a vein.

    DUI cases base their tests from blood drawn from a vein rather than an artery. Extensive research has depicted that BAC results from blood drawn from the vein can vary widely from the results obtained from arterial blood. Blood from the artery is known to send alcohol to the brain and may, therefore, provide stronger signs of whether the driver in question is impaired or otherwise.

    Through these studies, scientists have acquired new knowledge. They have come to the realization that the alcohol content of the blood drawn from an artery is way higher than that of the blood drawn from a vein during alcohol absorption in the body, which occurs after the first ingestion. On the other hand, in the final phase or the elimination stage, the BAC from the blood obtained from the vein is higher than that from an artery.

    Alcohol consumption is a cycle with three distinct phases that affect a person’s measured blood alcohol content. To begin with, there is the absorption stage whereby the alcohol is circulated throughout the body. At this point, the person will have a rising blood alcohol level. Hence, a blood sample obtained from a vein during this stage could be misleading as it provides low results. Second is the plateau phase, which occurs after alcohol ingestion has long ceased. The person’s BAC now levels off as the alcohol is fairly distributed in the body. Lastly, there is the elimination phase where the alcohol passes through the liver, is broken down and ultimately eliminated. Here, a person’s BAC drops. Venous blood in this phase is higher than usual with a BAC result that is 0.05 % higher than a sample taken from an artery.

    Venous blood from a driver who had been drinking despite waiting for a substantial amount of time after ceasing is prone to give results that do not reflect the actual state of his impairment. Hence, the driver’s lawyer may present a case to challenge his client’s purported offense in a court of law that the venous blood sample had an elevated BAC and did not correlate with the driver’s exact BAC. In most occasions, the medical practitioners who conduct the sample test do not remember if the blood was from a vein or an artery. In this case, the accuracy and reliability of the blood sample may be in question, and the results may not be admissible in court.

    In the event of the defendant’s blood sample being used as evidence, then the expert explanation of a medical professional may be necessary to convince the jury of the existing difference in BAC of arterial blood and venous blood at the time of arrest. It is advisable for you to seek the services of Los Angeles DUI attorneys immediately in the case of an arrest for DUI after you have provided a blood sample for testing. The lawyers are extensively experienced in this area, and they work with top experts to address the issue. Moreover, they understand how best to counter prosecution evidence in DUI cases.

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