If you’re arrested for OWI, DWI or DUI in Louisiana, you will be required to submit to chemical testing to determine your blood alcohol content (“BAC”).The police officer making the arrest has the option to request you to submit to chemical testing of your breath, blood or urine. In rare instances, other bodily substances may be tested. Of the three main tests, the blood test is considered to be most accurate. However, it’s also the most expensive test to administer. By comparison, the breath test is administered most frequently while the urine test is considered to be the least accurate.

A Valid Blood Test

In order for a blood test to be valid, testing must be performed in accordance to the methods established by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections by a person with a valid permit. In that regard, only a physician, a physician’s assistant, registered nurse, emergency medical technician, chemist, nurse practitioner or other qualified technician is authorized to withdraw your blood for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content. The same holds true for blood that is withdrawn to determine the presence of an abused, illegal or controlled substance.

Very few police officers are sufficiently credentialed to draw your blood for the purposes of chemical testing. For that reason, a blood test related to a drunk-driving arrest is usually not performed on the scene. Rather, a police officer will administer a breath test on a machine called the Intoxilyzer 5000. However, you should know that if you’re arrested on alcohol-related charges stemming from a breath test, you have the right to request a blood test.

The Cost Associated with Additional Blood Testing

If you choose to exercise this right, you will be required to pay for the cost of the additional testing. You will also be given the opportunity to make a telephone call to request a qualified person (a physician, physician’s assistant, chemist, registered nurse, emergency medical technician, nurse practitioner or other qualified technician) to perform the test. Most importantly, if you’re denied the right to additional testing, your initial test results can be excluded as evidence against you.

If you’ve been arrested for drunk-driving and want to make sure your rights—all of your rights—are protected, Attorney J. Bradley Cockrell can help defend your case. For a free, no-obligation case analysis, please call our law office to make an appointment or complete our case evaluation form online now.

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