Being pulled over for driving under the influence can feel like a pretty hopeless situation – it seems like the law is on the side of the police, who are allowed to ask you to submit to a breath or blood test, and there’s little you feel you can do to argue your position. While it can be difficult to face a DUI charge, it’s not impossible; your chances can be improved when you work with a criminal defense attorney.
When a Blood Test is Required
If you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving, a police officer is permitted to arrest you if he or she has probable cause to suspect you are driving under the influence. The same case may be made if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident and a police officer on the scene suspects you were impaired at the time of the accident. Additionally, a police officer can require you to submit to a preliminary breathalyzer test if he or she has probably cause to believe you are intoxicated. The results of the preliminary test are admissible in court, which can potentially damage your case.
If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, the officer can ask you to submit to another type of chemical test, such as a blood test, or face the consequences of getting your license suspended for a year and having 6 points added to your driving record. If you continue to refuse an officer can seek a warrant for an involuntary blood draw; whether or not the warrant will actually be obtained depends on how well the officer’s evidence proves that you are more than likely driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
Defenses Against a Blood Test
Many of the defenses against the results of your blood test will depend on how information was communicated to you. Did the officer give you a legitimate reason why you were pulled over? Police are not permitted to pull you over on a hunch; they must have a real reason, such as observing that you were driving erratically, in order to pull you over. Did the police officer thoroughly explain your right to refuse the blood test, including what will happen to your license if you refuse? It’s important that your rights are never violated, no matter what you’re suspected of doing. In addition, the officer needs to be clear that you were pulled over on suspicion of a driving-related offense. If you were pulled over for something else, such as disturbing the peace, an officer cannot ask you to submit to a blood or breath test. Officers who do not conduct themselves according to the law will not be able successful pursuing their case, and all charges against you could be dropped.
Another important statute of the law to keep in mind is one that says a person with hemophilia, diabetes, or a condition that requires them to receive an anticoagulant may not give permission to submit to a blood test. If a person afflicted with any of these conditions is given a blood test, whether or not the person agreed, the test is not admissible evidence.
How a Lansing OWI Attorney Can Help
It can be tricky to defend against an OWI charge, especially one that involves the results of a chemical test like a blood test. However, an experienced OWI attorney may be able to help defend you against test results, uncover whether there was probable cause to obtain a warrant for a blood test, or meticulously question the arresting officer to determine if you were really treated justly during your arrest.
At DeBruin Law, we have the experience and skill to defend your OWI case to get you the best possible outcome. For a free consultation, call us today at (517) 324-4303 or use the online form to schedule a free consultation.