A blood draw can happen during a DUI arrest in a couple different circumstances. If a law enforcement officer believes a driver is impaired by drugs rather than alcohol, then the officer may look to draw blood. Another common scenario is when someone under arrest for DUI refuses a breath test for alcohol at the police station and the officer then obtains a blood draw warrant signed by a judge. Once tested these blood samples will show how much alcohol and drugs someone has consumed.
Some drivers under investigation for DUI may not smell like they’ve consumed beer, wine or liquor, but they still show signs of being impaired. In these cases officers may suspect the driver has consumed drugs and those drugs are affecting their ability to drive. Most officers will still ask these drivers to perform roadside tests and if that driver is arrested for DUI, then the officer will likely ask a judge to sign a blood draw warrant.
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 an option to end the investigation as a breath test refusal DUI or the officer may choose to contact a judge and request a blood draw warrant.
Once a blood draw warrant is signed by a judge, then an individual authorized by the Washington State Department of Health will draw the blood samples. The credentials of the individual who actually drew blood can be verified on the Department of Health’s website. As of January 2020 the results of these DUI blood samples are finalized approximately nine months after the incident. These results will show whether alcohol and/or drugs were present in the blood and the specific quantities of each substance.
It’s important to remember that a drug DUI can occur whether the driver has consumed illegal drugs, prescription drugs or even over the counter drugs. Each of us should ask our doctor questions and see if drugs affect us well before we get behind the wheel.
If you or someone you care about are accused of a DUI involving a blood draw, breath alcohol content (BAC) test or refusal, then contact our office. We can help!