The accuracy of West Palm Beach DUI drug tests depends on the type of test being performed, the quality of the sample taken, as well as the urine or blood test and when it is taken. For instance, your experienced defense attorney can argue that a urine test is not an accurate indicator of whether you were under the influence of drugs. When something is found in the urine, it already passed through the body, the blood, the brain, and the kidneys. It is in the bladder and is a waste product. If you want to know more about DUI drug tests and how they may impact your case, consult an attorney today.
Accuracy of Urine Tests and Blood Tests
A urine test is not an accurate indicator of whether someone is under the influence of illegal substances or controlled substances at the time. It is an indicator that someone previously used them, but the urine test cannot determine when the substance was used.
A blood test, however, can be more accurate, especially when it can quantify the results of what it detects. When someone has a blood test that is positive for marijuana or positive for painkillers, the question is how much was found and how was it measured. A blood test can be more accurate than a urine test because urine is waste, while a blood test checks for substances that are actually flowing in the blood. It can be fairly accurate to quantify the amount in someone’s system. When a test is just positive or negative, it is hard to say whether someone is under the influence.
How When the Sample Was Taken Can Impact the Results
The accuracy of West Palm Beach DUI drug tests also depends on when the sample is taken. If the sample is taken immediately after the person was driving or close to it, it is a more accurate depiction of what was in their blood at the time they were driving. If the sample was taken hours later at a hospital, for instance, a considerable amount of time has passed. The person was processed, transported to a hospital, triaged, diagnosed, x-rayed, and stabilized before anyone draws the person’s blood. Those results do not give an accurate depiction of what their blood alcohol level was at the time they were driving.
Getting a Drug Test From an Independent Lab
Even when the equipment checks out as accurate, reliable, and up to date and the chain of custody is solid, the lawyer can take a split portion of the blood or urine sample. That sample can be sent to an independent lab to get a second opinion.
A DUI drug lawyer can check everything in the entire chain of events as to why blood or urine was taken. They can look into who drew the blood, what they did with the sample after it was taken, and the condition of the machine. The attorney can get a second opinion from an independent lab that is not run and owned by law enforcement. The results often differ.
How an Attorney Can Check For DUI Drug Test Accuracy
Drug tests may not be wrong. However, they may not be accurate and reliable. A thorough defense attorney could check the accuracy of West Palm Beach DUI drug tests, and the reliability of your results. They could also look at the qualifications of the person who collected the sample and whether they collected it correctly. For instance, on a blood test, they may have used the wrong type of kit, swabbed someone down with alcohol, or used the wrong type of needle.
The lawyer also looks at the chain of custody the sequential documentation showing the custody, control, transfer, and processing of the sample. They identify the person who preserved the sample to determine whether they are a nurse or a phlebotomist at a hospital. They establish whether the person handled the sample properly, labeled it properly, and put it in a refrigerator right away to properly preserve it.
The lawyer could identify the person who tested the sample to make sure that they are licensed, trained, authorized and experienced to use the equipment. The lawyer could also examine the equipment, a gas chromatograph, to make sure it is properly licensed, calibrated by the State, and properly maintained and calibrated.