Posts Tagged ‘evidential urine testing’

DUI Blood & Urine Testing: Understanding Gas Chromatography

March 23rd, 2012
Gass chromatographer - oven with capliary colu...

If you have been arrested for a DUI involving blood testing you may encounter a testing procedure known as Gas Chromatography.  Gas Chromatography is the most reliable method for alcohol testing in blood and urine and has become the accepted gold standard in forensic toxicology.  Gas chromatography specificity for ethanol (drinking alcohol) is very good and this method can also identify and quantify other organic or interfering substances such as methanol and isopropanol. The two commonly used techniques for analyzing the gases are “direct injection” and “headspace analysis.”  The devise works by utilizing a flow-through tube known as the column.  The different chemicals in the sample pass via a gas stream at different rates depending on their interaction with the column’s filling.  As the chemicals exit the end of the column they are detected and electronically identified.

The defense of a blood test case should involve the use of an expert witness who will assist in two major ways.  First, the expert will know what to ask for and assist the attorney in obtaining the laboratory notes, data, chromatograms, computer printouts, worksheet packets and other important documentation related to the analysis of the subject sample.  One the proper documents are obtained, the expert can assist in looking for potential issues in the testing and/or the testing protocol.  These may include any of the following:

  • Improper chain of custody
  • Prolonged time in transport
  • Improper storage
  • Analyst did not follow SOP
  • Lab SOP not in compliance with forensic standards
  • Contamination of laboratory solutions
  • Leaking sample tubes
  • Mislabeling
  • Calibration and sourcing issues

I have attempted in every way I can to keep myself up-to-date on all issues involving forensic testing, including gas chromatography.  This has included attending the National College for DUI Defense annual seminar on DUI Defense, earning Forensic Sobriety Assessment certification and attending seminars from some of the world’s leading experts.  I recommend that any attorney defending cases involving these issues contact Alfred E. Staubus, PharmD, PhD, as he is a nationally recognized expert and someone who comes across well teaching to a judge or jury.  The future of drunk driving defense will continue to involve understanding blood and urine testing whether it be for drugs of abuse, prescription drug abuse, marijuana cases or alcohol blood tests.

Dayton DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/daytondui and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Sources for this article:

  1. Forensic Alcohol Analysis – Gas Chromatography, Alfred E. Staubus lecturing at the 16th Annual Mastering Scientific Evidence in DWI/DUI Cases, April 16-18, 2009.
  2. http://teaching.shu.ac.uk/hwb/chemistry/tutorials/chrom/gaschrm.htm
  3. http://www.answers.com/topic/gas-liquid-chromatography

Blood & Urine Specimens O.A.C. 3701-53-05

December 16th, 2010
Arm venipuncture prior to fililng a vacutainer.
Image via Wikipedia

Ohio Administrative Code section 3701-53-05 applies to the collection of blood and urine specimens.  Section (A) requires all samples to be “collected in accordance with section 4511.19 (DUI statute), or section 1547.11 (Boating Under the Influence) of the Revised Code, as applicable.”

Section (B) states, “[w]hen collecting a blood sample, an aqueous solution of non-volatile antiseptic shall be used on the skin.  No alcohols shall be used as a skin antiseptic.”  A good place to start your DUI investigation is the first blood draw.  We have garnered the help of a legal-nurse-practitioner to find instances where wounds could have been treated in such a manner that alcohol was left on the skin.  We also fight hard to get the blood draw protocol from the hospital.  Often arguments can be made that the skin antiseptic does not meet the requirements of this administrative code.

Section (C) requires that, “[b]lood shall be drawn with a sterile dry needle into a vacuum container with a solid anticoagulant, or according to the laboratory protocol as written in the laboratory procedure manual based on the type of specimen being tested.”  Again, fight hard for the laboratory protocol and procedure manual so that you can see if the blood draw was done correctly.  You will often find important differences in how the nurse drew the blood and the way the OAC contemplates a blood draw.  Hire an attorney who knows what the guidelines are and can fight your case.

Section (D) sets forth the manner in which a urine sample can be collected.  “The collection of a urine specimen must be witnessed to assure that the sample can be authenticated.  Urine shall be deposited into a clean glass or plastic screw top container which shall be capped, or collected according to the laboratory protocol as written in the laboratory procedure manual.  Here, recent changes in the HIPPA privacy laws may have caused a change in the hosptial/laboratory protocol that will benefit your client.  Thorough discovery is required.  Often, you will be able to get this type of information only by getting it yourself.  More and more often, courts will allow you to raise these issues only if the prosecutor has been put on notice of a deficiency.

Section (E) describes what must be done to assure no tampering with the sample has occurred and section (F) requires that “[w]hile not in transit or under examination, all blood and urine specimens shall be refrigerated.”

Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (1-888-769-5263).

For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.

Visit www.DaytonDUI.com, www.SpringfieldDUI.com, www.OhioDUIdefense.com, www.KetteringDUI.com, www.BeavercreekDUI.com, www.FairbornDUI.com,  www.VandaliaDUI.com, www.HuberHeightsDUI.comwww.MiamisburgDUI.com, www.XeniaDUI.com or www.CharlesRowland.com.  Immediate help is available by filling out the CONTACT form on any of these pages.

For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting follow DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and you can access updates by becoming a fan of Dayton DUI/OVI Defense.

You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Enhanced by Zemanta