In Nevada, if you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence, and law enforcement made you take a blood test, it is always in your best interest to seek the counsel of an attorney with experience in this area of law. This holds true regardless of the results of any breath or chemical testing, which are not error proof and can be administered or handled in ways that can affect the outcome of the results. This page contains a compilation of helpful information related to the circumstances, administration and details that apply to DUI related blood testing in Nevada.
When am I Required to Submit to a Chemical DUI test?
A chemical test, which is either a breath, blood or urine test, can be required of anyone who has been pulled over by a police officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The requirement of a chemical test is enforced through the “implied consent” laws in Nevada (NRS 484C.150, NRS 484C.160), which states that any person in physical control of a vehicle on the highway or an area of public access has already been deemed to give their consent to both a preliminary breath test and/or an evidentiary test of their breath, blood or urine if it is requested.
When is a Blood Test Required Specifically?
A blood test, which is widely considered to be the most accurate testing method for measuring the presence of drugs and/or alcohol, can be required if the officer who pulled you over suspects you are under the influence. However, the following circumstances may influence this:
● First DUI Offense: If you are pulled over for an alleged DUI and it is your first potential DUI offense, you should have the option of taking a breath test rather than a blood test. If you do not pass the breath test, it is very likely that you will then be required to submit to further testing – typically a blood test.
● Second DUI Offense in a Seven Year Period: If you are arrested and charged with a second DUI within seven years of your first DUI charge, the implied consent law requires that you submit to a blood test regardless of a preliminary breath test.
Can I Refuse to Submit to a Blood Test?
If you refuse you will lose your license for 1-year for the refusal.
What Happens if I do Refuse a Blood Test?
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense and refuse to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a period of time ranging anywhere from one to three years. In addition to your license suspension.
Furthermore, refusing to submit can result in a forced blood draw, which means that the police will obtain a warrant which will allow them to use “reasonable force” to obtain a blood sample for your test. You can be physically restrained to have your blood drawn, but no more than three samples may be drawn in the five-hour period immediately following the arrest.
Can I Choose the Kind of Chemical Test I will Submit to?
The type of test that you are required to take is at the discretion of the arresting officer based on the circumstances of your arrest. The only exception to this is for serious medical conditions, like hemophilia or a heart condition, that requires you to be on medications containing anticoagulants. Nevada law (NRS 484C.160) stipulates that an individual with a health condition that precludes them from a blood test cannot be forced to submit to one, but they will still be required to submit to an alternate test.
Who can Legally Administer a Blood Test for the Purposes of Detecting and Measuring the Presence of Alcohol and/or Drugs?
● Phlebotomists (Phlebotomists are medical technicians who are trained specifically to draw blood from people for the purposes of medical or clinical testing, research, donations, and transfusions)
● Registered nurses
● Licensed physician assistants
● Emergency medical technicians
What are the Procedures for a Blood Test in Nevada?
Upon your arrest for a DUI, you will be taken to a jail or booking area where a licensed phlebotomist will draw your blood sample. For an evidentiary blood test, two vials of blood are drawn and those vials are transferred to a local crime lab where the blood will be analyzed by technician licensed in chemical testing. For BAC testing, the blood is analyzed four separate times, after which – if all four sets of results are within five percent of one another – the official BAC result reported to the police will be the lowest number.
Can the Results of my DUI Blood Test be Contested?
Yes. There are several factors that can potentially invalidate your blood test – here are just a few examples:
● Having your blood drawn or your sample tested by someone who is not certified to do so
● Faulty, damaged, or poorly maintained equipment was used to test your blood
● Improper storage of blood, which can include the condition or level of anticoagulants/preservatives present in the vials used
● Having the site of your blood draw sterilized with some form of alcohol, which can result in a higher and inaccurate result
If you or someone you care about has been charged with a DUI that you feel may have been the result of an error in your blood or urine test, please contact our offices today. These tests can be wrong and if you believe there were circumstances that could have contributed to an erroneous result, a DUI charge may not be applicable. We offer free case evaluations and want to help you determine the truth.