Category: Blood & Urine Tests

Admitting OVI Blood Tests Made Easier By Ohio Supreme Court

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blood test

A REVIEW OF BLOOD TEST REGULATION IN OHIO

In Ohio, a blood test is administered by a crime lab or the collecting health care agency. The blood must be drawn by a licensed medical professional.  In cases where blood tests are administered by a crime lab, the Ohio DUI driver’s blood sample must be drawn within three hours of the perceived infraction.  In addition, it must be tested in compliance with regulations drafted by the Ohio Department of Health. Because of their complexity, an attorney focusing on DUI defense exclusively should be considered.

Please consult the articles on the ODH rules on this blog. The regulations include rules for collection and handling of blood samples, testing techniques, laboratory operations, permits, and records maintenance. In cases where DUI blood tests are administered by a hospital expert testimony regarding the blood test and how the result relates to impaired driving ability.

Ohio law requires you to take a blood, breath, or urine test if you are arrested for an OVI. Ohio’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been operating under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC).  The test must be taken within two hours of driving and the officer gets to choose which test you take. The question is, how strictly will the courts enforce the two-hour limit.  

OHIO SUPREME COURT ADDRESSES BLOOD TEST ADMISSIBILITY

The Ohio Supreme Court clarified their position on the refrigeration of a blood sample. They address whether strict compliance is required. Answer, no! They also clarified, with great deference to the prosecution, what substantial compliance means. Spoiler alert: it is a quickly eroding standard. In State v. Baker, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-451 the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on the admissibility of a blood test samples.  In this case a Trooper left the sample unrefrigerated in his patrol car for over four (4) hours.  The Ohio Supreme Court opinion reversed a lower court decision. The lower court ruled because the state did not strictly comply with the refrigeration requirement, the sample could not be used against the defendant. This case arose from a 2011 OVI charge that arose from accident that killed a pedestrian.

While giving lip service to the fact that strict compliance with the refrigeration rule is preferable, the Court recognized logistical issues of gathering and submitting samples may make strict compliance unrealistic in all cases. Citing State v. Plummer, where the Court in 1986 held that the failure to refrigerate a urine sample for four hours did not render the test results inadmissible, and State v. Mayl, a 2005 decision that cited Plummer, the Court determined that the failure to refrigerate a blood sample for as many as five hours substantially complied with the refrigeration requirement, permitting the sample to be used as evidence. The failure to refrigerate the defendant’s specimen for four hours and 10 minutes substantially complied with the rule and did not make the test results inadmissible per se.

OHIO SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES BLOOD TEST ADMISSIBILITY PROCEDURE

In this case, the court clarified the procedure for admitting blood-alcohol test results into evidence as established in the Court’s 2003 State v. Burnside decision.  Burnside states that to challenge a blood test result, the defendant must file a motion to suppress.  After the filing of a motion to suppress it becomes the responsibility of the state to demonstrate it substantially complied with the administrative rule. If the state proves substantial compliance, the burden then shifts back to the accused to show the failure to strictly comply made the test unreliable and prejudicial.

In opposition, a dissenting opinion was written by  Justice William M. O’Neill. While he acknowledge that strict compliance is not always realistic or humanly possible, he concluded the majority decision makes the substantial compliance standard too low for such serious cases. Therefore, he stated the decision allows for the rule to be ignored.  This blog has long argued that the “substantial compliance standard” is a fast-eroding standard that allows the court to admit evidence if the police try their best, or demonstrate a good faith effort, effectively shifting the burden of proof from the government to the defendant.

CONTACT CHARLES M. ROWLAND (DAYTONDUI) TODAY!

If you have questions about your  blood test case, please contact me at (937) 318-1384. Also, you can also hear me lecture on this topic. I will be speaking on behalf of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys in November. In addition to these cases, I will be giving an update on Ohio OVI law. I hope you can be there. If not, please visit the DaytonDUI blog for all things OVI. Learn about city-specific OVI courts. Due to their complexity, review the law on blood, breath and urine testing. Stay abreast of developments in the law. As a result of my focus, I hope to have the most up-to-date information. I work hard to be the best DUI in Ohio. In conclusion, I take great pride in my work.

 

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Ohio OVI: What Are The Legal Limits?

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In Ohio, an OVI refers to the charge of operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.  If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and breath alcohol content (BrAC) is .08 or greater, you are considered to be “operating a vehicle impaired.” The .08 figure refers to the concentration of alcohol in your breath or in your blood.  There are also “legal limits” for the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood serum or plasma and urine. For a urine sample, you will be over the “legal limit” if the alcohol concentration in your urine sample is .11 or greater.

Ohio OVIWhile Ohio still considers this a valid way to determine alcohol content, many states have done away with urine testing because handling and testing procedures have produced errors. If a blood serum or plasma sample is taken, the legal limit is .096. A test of blood, whether whole blood, serum or plasma, is the most accurate, but such tests must be completed according to Department of Health rules to be admissible in a court proceeding. Also, improper blood testing procedures still may yield inaccurate results.

There are also enhanced minimum penalties for “high tier” or “Super OVI” results. The high tier test results are .17 for breath and blood, .204 for blood serum or plasma, and .238 for urine. The enhanced penalties for “high tier” offenders double the minimum jail time requirement.

If you find yourself facing an Ohio OVI you need to speak to an attorney right away! Call DaytonDUI at (937) 318-1384.
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DUI Attorney Strategies – Know The Science!

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Here is a tool that every DUI attorney should have in their arsenal.  It is a study entitled, Absorption, Distribution and Elimination of Alcohol: Highway Safety Aspects and it has a number of facts that a jury should know:

  1. The time that elapses between the driving of the car and the time of the chemical test can produce significantly different blood alcohol concentrations.
  2. The time that passes from the end of the alcohol intake until the peak alcohol concentration varies from 14 to 138 minutes in one study, to 12 to 166 minutes in another study.
  3. It is impossible to convert the alcohol concentration of breath or urine to the simultaneous blood alcohol concentration with forensically acceptable certainty.
  4. It is not possible to establish whether the person being tested is in the absorption or elimination phase from the results of two consecutive blood or breath alcohol measurements, as is the protocol in Ohio.
  5. Retrograde extrapolation (forensic backward extrapolation of blood or breath concentration) is not ordinarily forensically possible.
  6. Extrapolation of a later alcohol result which is used to tie the alcohol to the time of operation is always of uncertain validity and is, therefore, forensically unacceptable.

If you are able to present these facts to a jury, the chances of winning go up exponentially.  Every Ohio DUI attorney should have this study at the ready to help during motions and trials.

Charles M. Rowland II, Dayton DUI attorney, has been defending the accused drunk driver for over twenty years!. 

Alcohol Flush Reaction: An Allergy to Alcohol

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Have you ever heard anyone say that they are “allergic” to alcohol?  Well, if the person is of Asian descent, they may have a common reaction to alcohol know as Alcohol Flush Reaction.

Salcohol flushtudies have shown about a third of Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans respond to alcohol by turning red.

The reaction is a condition in which an individual develops flushes or blotches associated with erythema on the face, neck, shoulders, and, in some cases, the entire body after consuming alcoholic beverages. The reaction is the result of an accumulation of acetaldehyde, a metabolic byproduct of the catabolic metabolism of alcohol, and is caused by an aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency.  This syndrome has been associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer in those who drink. It has also been associated with lower than average rates of alcoholism, possibly due to its association with adverse effects after drinking alcohol.  Wikipedia, at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_flush_reaction

Since the mutation is a genetic issue, there is no cure for the flush reaction. Prevention would include not drinking alcohol.

Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

“All I do is DUI defense.”

For more info on Alcohol Flush Reaction, check these city-specific sites at the following links:
Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia,Miamisburg, Huber Heights, Springboro, Oakwood, Beavercreek,Centerville

 

 

Keywords: Alcohol Flush Reaction, Asian Flush

 

 

 

OVI Law: Elimination of Alcohol By Oxidation

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ovi lawOVI law requires an understanding of how alcohol enters, affects and exits the body.  Here is a brief overview of the elimination process.

Alcohol exits the human body by being oxidized by a number of very important enzymes.  Foremost among these enzymes are ADH (alcohol dehydrogenase) and ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase).  Over 90% of the ingested alcohol is oxidized in the liver.  The remaining 10% is excreted via the breath (.07%), the urine (.03%) and sweat (.01%). [Master, S., Chapter 23: The Alcohols, Basics and Clinical Pharmacology, B. Katzung, Editor, McGraw Hill, Eighth Edition, 2001, p. 382 (hereafter “Katzung”).

We know that the elimination rate varies from person to person but a general rules is that most people will have a rate between .015% and .20% with an overall average of .018% per hour [Winek CL, Esposito FM. Blood alcohol concentrations: factors affecting predictions. Leg Med 1985; 34-61].   Factors which will affect elimination include age, gender, food ingestion, past use and other pathological factors.

Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the OVI law experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at(937) 776-2671. You can have Dayton DUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

“All I do is DUI defense.”

For more info on OVI law, check these OVI law city-specific sites at the following links:

Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg,Huber Heights, Springboro, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville