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About Breath, Blood & Urine Tests in Ohio DUI / OVI Cases


NBC Interview of Brad Koffel: EMTs Drawing Blood from Motorists

Breath, blood and urine testing is a very strong part of evidence used in DUI cases in Ohio. The breath testing is usually done with a specific device that has maintenance and calibration requirements by law. Each piece of equipment is subject to failure, as is any equipment. There have been cases in which an individual "reads" on the device who has not consumed alcohol, or very little. This can be due to a faulty device or improperly administered test. The rules about how the test is administered are very strict, and have been violated on numerous occasions, usually due to an overzealous officer or lack of proper training on the device. If you have been arrested for DUI and breath, blood or urine tests are part of the evidence against you, contact a Columbus DUI defense lawyer at once.

The Criminal / DUI lawyers of Koffel Law Firm are some of the only lawyers in the United States certified as operators of the BAC DataMaster -- one of the most common breath test machines being used in Ohio and across the country. Attorney Brad Koffel was one of the very first lawyers in the world to be permitted by National Patent Analytical Systems, the manufacturer of the DataMaster, to undergo the same training as police officers in the theory and operation of its breath test machines.

In 2009, the Ohio Department of Health approved the installation of a new breath test machine, the Intoxilyzer 8000. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is currently being thoroughly challenged in many other states such as Arizona and Florida. In fact, some judges in the country have issued rulings against the prosecution suppressing the results of the Intoxilyzer 8000 due to the fact the manufacturer will not permit the machine's source code to be investigated by independent experts.

Many motorists attempt to blow into these machines only to receive an "Invalid Sample". Officers will threaten motorists with jail or license suspensions for "playing around" with the machine or "not blowing correctly". It should be noted to that an Invalid Sample provides a DUI / OVI defense attorney a solid argument that the client did not refuse the breath test and/or there was a problem with the breath testing sequence.

Blood Alcohol Testing Under Ohio OVI / DUI Law

Ohio law is quite clear--motorists who refuse a breath test are subject to have their blood drawn against their will. Police officers are permitted to request a search warrant from a local judge in order to secure a blood test for use against the DUI / OVI client. In Ohio, judges will normally sign the search warrant for a police officer in the middle of the night if requested by law enforcement.

Also, under Ohio DUI / OVI laws, if a motorist has 2 or more prior DUI convictions, a police officer can use "any reasonable means necessary" in order to take a blood sample from a motorist. Ohio DUI laws do not specifically exclude any means. So, it is up to police officers, in the heat of the moment, to decide what efforts are "reasonable" to get a reluctant citizen motorist to give a sample of blood. This does include strapping a motorist down or pinning them down and having a needle injected into their arm.

Blood testing rules are equally stringent under the law. The training requirements and how the blood test is done are all laid out in law. And yet, in some cases the blood test is incorrectly administered. Even when correctly administered, no test is 100% accurate. Even in hospitals blood is often re-tested to ensure that it is correct. When blood test evidence is used in a DUI case, it is often related to DUI drugs cases, and the purpose of the test is to measure whether you have consumed drugs that could be affecting your ability to drive. This can include legally prescribed prescription drugs, as if you are driving impaired, it doesn't matter whether the drug was prescribed or not.

According to Ohio Code 4511.19, law enforcement is only allowed to request a urine sample within three hours of the alleged DUI/OVI violation. If the urine sample is collected later, then the evidence is not considered valid. According to OAC § 3701-53-05(d), the urine sample must be collected while a witness is present, in order to assure the authenticity of the sample.

Any DUI/OVI offense requires the assistance of a proven DUI defense lawyer. At Koffel Law Firm, the legal team has over 15 years experience in the defense of DUI cases of all types, and over the years has developed strong resources and knowledge to assist in the defense of clients. Named as "Ohio Superlawyers" and listed as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" , you can be assured you will have an aggressive and capable attorney fighting for you.

Contact a Columbus DUI Defense Lawyer if you have been arrested and charged with DUI in which blood or breath test evidence is going to be used against you in court.

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