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Los Angeles DUI - Blood and Breath Test

Under Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) the State of California has mandated that it is unlawful to driver with a BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentration of over .08%.  Furthermore, California operates under what is known as the "implied consent law" where all licensed California drivers give their implied consent to submit to a chemical blood alcohol content test (through a blood, breath or urine test) if suspected of drunk driving.  If you are suspected of drunk driving in the Los Angeles areayou will be asked to submit to one of the above tests. 

For more information, call our Los Angeles County Drunk Driving Lawyers at 888-444-7210!

If your blood alcohol level is over .08% you will be arrested and charged with a Los Angeles DUI.  While the chemical test evidence may seem to condemn a suspected drunk driver to a conviction, that is not always the case.  Any of the Blood Alcohol Content tests administered to a suspected Los Angeles Drunk Driver are only indications of the blood alcohol level at the time the test was taken, not at the time of driving.  Many defenses arise no matter what kind of test is taken.  It is important to note that a refusal to submit to a chemical blood alcohol content test will result in an automatic DMV license suspension of 1 to 3 years without the possibility of obtaining a restricted license.

PAS (Preliminary Alcohol Screening) for a LA DUI

If you are pulled over for a vehicle code violation and the arresting officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she may ask you to submit to a PAS or preliminary alcohol screening.  This is not the chemical blood alcohol content test as required by the implied consent law in California.  This is a preliminary breath test that is used to obtain probable cause for arresting someone suspected of committing a Los Angeles DUI.   Most often, this will be done at the scene prior to arrest.  The suspected drunk driver will be asked to blow into a small machine that measures the amount of alcohol concentration in the blood stream.  The arresting officer will take two samples and if either resulted in a .08% BAC or higher the driver will be arrested for a Los Angeles DUI.

While the scientific evidence of CSI and Law and Law and Order is convincing in a Los Angeles DUI case, it is not full proof.  The PAS breathalyzers can easily produce inadequate readings if they are not calibrated properly or maintained appropriately.  Also, radio frequencies from the arresting officer's vehicle may interfere with accurate readings of the DUI breath machine and a person's pre-existing medical condition could easily invalidate the readings.

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Los Angeles DUI - Blood and Breath Test

Chemical Breath Test in an LA DUI

While the PAS (Preliminary Alcohol Screening) is most often done at the site of the Los Angeles suspected drunk driving incident to gain probable cause for arrest, an arresting officer may also choose to perform a chemical breath test at the scene as well.  You may choose to do a chemical breath test or a chemical blood test under the implied consent law, but a refusal of both will result in an extended license suspension (1 to 3 years). 

The chemical breath test given after a Los Angeles DUI arrest works exactly the same as a PAS breathalyzer.  A suspected drunk driver is asked to blow into a breathalyzer machine which measures the amount of alcohol present.  A number of defenses arise if the machine was not properly calibrated or a reasonable amount of time has passed since the person was driving.

Chemical Blood Test - Los Angeles DUI

Chemical Blood Alcohol Testing is more accurate than any breathalyzer available since the laboratory is directly testing a sample of blood.  While it presents less opportunity for error, there are still many defenses that arise.  If the chemical blood test done after an arrest for a Los Angeles DUI is completed a reasonable period after driving it can be argued that the blood alcohol concentration was actually higher at the time the sample was taken than it was when the suspected drunk driver was actually driving.  This is known as a rising defense since if you consume alcohol quickly prior to driving it will most likely take a period of time to travel through the body and make it impaired. 

Prior to being arrested for the Los Angeles DUI you may have been perfectly fine to drive, under the legal limit until you reached your destination, but after waiting half an hour may feel the effects of impairment and have a higher BAC.  Also, a crime lab is required to show that the blood sampled was appropriately handled at all times after an arrested for suspected drunk driving in Los Angeles, failure to show this chain of custody will result in a reduction or even dismissal of the charges.

No matter which chemical blood alcohol content test was taken, our Los Angeles DUI Defense Lawyers can help.  Even if you refused to submit to a chemical test after your Los Angeles DUI arrest, we can still work with the facts of the case to defend your rights.  No matter what the situation we are here to help.  We work with toxicologists and lab specialists to ensure that every suitable measure was taken in the collection of the chemical test.  We will not hesitate to subpoena calibration and maintenance records on your behalf for your Los Angeles DUI case.

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