In the state of Connecticut, if you are suspected of driving under the influence, the police may ask you to submit to a blood test. But does this blood test simply measure your blood for alcohol content, or are you tested for the presence of drugs in your blood as well? On this page, I will go into more detail and help you determine if you should comply with a blood test or not when suspected of DUI.
Alcohol and Drug Testing
If trying to determine if you were under the influence while driving, the police can test for both drugs and alcohol in your system. However, different tests will accomplish different things. For example, a breath test can only determine if there is alcohol on a person’s breath and won’t test for drugs. It is also important to keep in mind that breath tests can be unreliable for many reasons. A good lawyer can review the circumstances in which a breath test was given to potentially throw the results out of court. Also remember that while a standard breath test does not test for drugs, there are “marijuana breath tests” being developed that might be used in the future.
Blood tests, on the other hand, can and oftentimes do search for drugs in a person’s system along with the search for alcohol. The standard DUI blood test looks for alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, illegal substances, or other chemical substances known to cause impairment in a person’s blood.
If you are asked to perform a blood test by a police officer, oftentimes you have the right to refuse. You can refuse the blood test, and it was recently found that it is not constitutional to force a person to submit to a blood test in most situations. You may consider refusing the test after consulting with a lawyer and determining the best way to proceed in your situation. It is always best to discuss your options with a lawyer before proceeding.
Much like breath tests, blood tests can be unreliable. For example, if a blood test is administered too long after the arrest was made, the results may be fault. In addition, if an unqualified person performs the test, or if the blood was not drawn, stored, or tested properly, etc. the results may be inadmissible in court. If you submitted to a blood test, contact my office. We can discuss the specifics of your test and if the results should be admissible in court or not.
Other Drug Testing Situations and DUIs
Under Connecticut law, you have the right to refuse tests that the police officer demands of you. The is the case for standardized field sobriety testing, blood tests, breath tests, and urine tests. However, refusing these tests could result in greater penalties, particularly in relation to the implied consent law in Connecticut. This law in Connecticut states that by operating a motor vehicle on Connecticut roads, you implicitly agree to breath tests or other testing if a police officer asks this of you. If you refuse a breath test imposed by a police officer, you are breaking implied consent law. There are automatic punishments for doing so, regardless of a charge or conviction of DUI.
Another situation in which testing is required is if a person causes an accident in which a person was seriously injured or the accident caused the death of another person. In this situation, the driver must submit to alcohol testing under law.
If you have been charged with a drug DUI, contact me for help. My office has represented these cases before, and we know what to look for to build a strong defense for you. Give us a call today to set up a free consultation and discuss your situation.