A DUI arrest can end with a blood draw in a couple different circumstances. If a law enforcement officer believes a driver is impaired by something other than alcohol, then the officer may try to draw blood as part of the DUI investigation. Another common scenario is when someone is under arrest for an alcohol DUI and they refuse the breath test at the police station. This can lead to an officer asking a judge to sign a warrant authorizing a forensic or evidentiary blood draw.
Some drivers under investigation for DUI may not smell like they’ve consumed beer, wine or liquor, but they still show signs of impairment like poor motor skills or slurred speech. In these cases officers may suspect the driver has consumed drugs and will still ask these drivers to perform roadside tests as part of the DUI investigation. If that driver performs those tests poorly and is eventually arrested for DUI, then the officer will likely ask a judge to sign a blood draw warrant. Breath tests in Washington State only check for alcohol so a blood draw is the only way to determine if someone has consumed other drugs.
Another common DUI situation that leads to a blood draw is when a driver, who has been arrested for an alcohol DUI, refuses a breath test at the police station. In these cases the officer has a choice: process the DUI investigation solely as a breath test refusal or request a blood draw warrant from a judge.
If a blood draw warrant is signed by a judge, then two blood vials will be drawn by an individual authorized by the Washington State Department of Health. The credentials of the individual who actually drew the blood can be verified on Department of Health’s website. As of October 2021 these DUI blood samples are getting tested approximately ten to fourteen months after the incident. The blood test results will show whether alcohol and/or drugs were present in the blood and the quantities of each substance.
A drug DUI can occur whether the driver has consumed illegal drugs, prescription drugs or even over the counter drugs. Be sure to ask your doctor about how any drugs might affect your ability to drive before getting behind the wheel. If you or someone you care about have been accused of a DUI involving a blood draw, breath test or refusal, then contact Cooney Law Offices today. We can help!