Sometimes when you are suspected of driving under the influence, a law enforcement officer may want a blood or urine sample to test your blood alcohol content or to test for the presence of drugs. Oftentimes a blood sample will be taken when you have refused a Breathalyzer or breath test.
Urine tests are most commonly used to test whether you’re under the influence of drugs. Many prescription drugs will show up in a urine test, but if the prescription drug is something that might cause an impairment while driving then you may be arrested for OVI / DUI even though the drug itself is legal.
Ohio Testing Regulations
There are detailed rules and regulations under Ohio law for how samples should be collected, analyzed, and stored to try to ensure the utmost accuracy. When procedures aren’t followed, test results may be inaccurate and that can lead to wrongful convictions.
Some of the important rules involving blood and urine testing in Ohio include:
- Consent must be obtained within two hours of the violation
- Sample must be obtained within three hours of the violation
- Blood should be drawn or urine collected in front of a witness who can verify that the sample is yours
- People who perform the tests must be qualified
- Results must be retained for at least three years
- Sample must be analyzed in compliance with regulations in the Ohio Administrative Code
- Positive results should be confirmed with re-testing
Defenses to Overcome Your Blood or Urine Test
- Failure to Meet Deadline for Testing — Blood or urine samples must be collected within three hours of the time you are alleged to have been driving under the influence. When samples are not taken by the deadline set forth in the law, the results will not accurately reflect your BAC at the time of your supposed offense and may be invalid.
- No Warrant — When you do not agree to voluntarily provide blood or urine samples, police should get a warrant if they want to compel you to give a sample. To get a warrant, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence. If your sample was collected without your consent and without a warrant, your OVI / DUI lawyer may be able to convince a judge not to allow the blood or urine sample to be used as evidence against you.
- Chain of Custody Issues — When your blood or urine is used as evidence that you were driving under the influence, the prosecutor has to be able to show that the sample collected in fact was taken from you. There should be witnesses and documentation of what happened to your blood or urine sample every step of the way from the moment it was collected from you. This process is called the chain of custody. If there are any flaws in that process, the sample may not be able to be used as evidence in court.
- Improper Collection or Storage of Samples — Ohio has strict rules about how blood or urine samples must be collected and stored, and how long they must be kept. When these rules are not followed properly, your attorney may be able to keep the sample from being used against you in court.
- Sample Contamination — When your sample is tested in a lab, it’s important that the sample doesn’t come into contact with other samples or anything that might corrupt the sample or skew the results. When your sample becomes contaminated, it’s impossible to say whether the results are accurate and your attorney may be able to have the sample suppressed so that it can’t be used as evidence against you.
- Improper Calibration of Equipment — Sensitive lab equipment requires regular calibration to ensure that it’s working properly and that results are accurate. When the equipment used to test your blood or urine sample hasn’t been calibrated, your test results may be inaccurate, and your attorney may be able to convince a judge that the results shouldn’t be used against you.
- Improper Qualifications — The people who collect blood or urine samples or perform lab tests must have the proper training and qualifications to collect, handle, and test specimens. If they don’t have that training, mishandling of your sample could lead to errors.
- Medical Conditions — Some medical conditions may affect the outcome of your blood or urine tests and render your test results invalid.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we can help you confront the Ohio criminal justice system from your arrest through to your trial. By advocating for your rights and thinking strategically about your case defense, we will maximize your chances of obtaining a positive case result. If you’ve been charged with OVI, call us today for a free and confidential consultation of your case with our Columbus criminal defense lawyers today.
Charged with DUI in Ohio? Contact Us.
If you’ve been charged with a OVI / DUI, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced Columbus DUI attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at (614) 500-3836 or via email at [email protected].