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Arizona Vehicular Law

Tricks a DUI Lawyer in Arizona Can Use to Question a Blood Sample

Upon accepting a new client, a good DUI lawyer in Arizona already anticipates the challenges that can mount of the client subjected him or herself to a breathalyzer. These include mouth alcohol, radio frequency interference, and interfering substances, although the list can go on. If the client took a blood test, however, too many a DUI lawyer in Arizona will just give up hope and accept the test results. It doesn’t have to be that way, as creative approaches can instill doubt into any blood test. Let’s take a look at a few of the strategies.

Collection Materials
A DUI lawyer in Arizona who wishes to dispute such a test should first start by looking at the materials used to collect the blood specimen. In inappropriate materials were used, it can make a big difference that may result in the validation of your client.

Most agencies drawing for blood use some type of partially evacuated blood collection tube, such as the Vacutainer from Becton-Dickenson. These tubes are sold with a variety of additives inside, depending on the type of test for which the sample has been collected. The appropriate tube for such a test contains a mixture of sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate. Usually these tubes are intended for blood glucose approximations and typically have a gray stopper. Stoppers for other tubes have different colors.

If the blood alcohol result of the client of the DUI lawyer in Arizona is derived from a tube designed for a different type of analysis, the result may be inaccurate due to interference with the different chemicals within the tubes, or from the separation of the blood into plasma or serum. Remember, plasma is the blood minus the blood cells. Always check which type of tube is used for collection, as a mistake can be used as leverage by a meticulous DUI lawyer in Arizona.

Also realize that these tubes have a shelf life and an expiration date. After the date is expired, the vacuum depletes, which may result in contaminants from the surrounding air. This results in less than the full amount of blood necessary to conduct a conclusive test, called a “short draw.” This can also happen if the technician pulled the tube off of the needle before it had completely filled, introducing microbe contaminants into the tube. In blood cases, it is critical that a DUI lawyer in Arizona always check the expiration date as well as the appropriate amount of blood for the size of the tube. If it less, the accuracy of the blood ethanol result can be quite readily disputed in a court of law.

Skin Prep and Alcohol Swabs
Prior for drawing blood for alcohol tests, the skin must be wiped with a swab that does not contain alcohol, meaning not only ethanol, but other alcohols such as isopropanol or rubbing alcohol. The swab is important to kill any microbes that might contaminate the sample. It is important that the swab be done in an outward spiral to remove the microbes away from the punctured site. Ask the person who drew the blood sample to demonstrate their technique, as many do so incorrectly in a way that leads to contaminated and incorrect samples. If the swab contained alcohol, it can also contaminate the sample and can give a DUI lawyer in Arizona ample room to insert doubt into the prosecution’s case.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona DUI lawyer, visit our site.


New Arizona Photo Radar Bill HB 2085 Requires Officer to issue ticket

David M Cantor, Arizona Criminal Lawyer, discusses House Bill 2076 and House Bill 2085 (the new Arizona photo radar bill) were prefiled on January 8, 2010 to be heard at the 2010 49th Legislature Second Regular Session.  If passed, HB 2085 would require that a photo radar ticket actually be issued by a law enforcement officer, and not by mail or a process server.  Currently, if you simply ignore a photo radar ticket received in the mail nothing will happen to you.  However, if a process server claims to have served you or a member of your household, you then must show up to court.  Many process servers are unscrupulous and will simply leave the ticket on your front door and claim that service was accepted.  This new House Bill would actually be a good thing for the people of Arizona.

HB 2076, if passed, would allow an officer to issue a ticket to a person who is smoking in a car if there are any other people in the car who are under 16 years of age.  The ticket would carry a $50.00 fine for each person who is under 16.  The one limitation attached to this House Bill is that the officer cannot pull somebody over purely because they are smoking with a young child in their car.  He must have reasonable suspicion that an additional traffic violation has occurred prior to initiating his stop.  Apparently if you are 16 or 17 (i.e., unable to drink, vote, or legally have sex) you are not protected by the law from second-hand smoke.

To learn more about Arizona photo radar laws, contact DM Cantor.


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