DUI Timing of Testing: How Many Hours After Arrest Should A Breath or Blood Test Be Administered?
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DUI arrests are stressful for anyone. But if you get arrested for suspicion of DUI you need to contact an attorney immediately.
Getting ahead of this is really important. There are things that you and your lawyer must do immediately following the arrest to ensure that you may be able to beat the charges, have evidence thrown, or even have the charges of DUI reduced.
This is a long shot most of the time since prosecutors are not able to reduce or dismiss DUI charges in Nevada. They are required to prosecute them so it is up to the defendant to work diligently to prove that the evidence against them doesn’t live up to the standard to be convicted of DUI.
When arrested for DUI you need to do a few things right away and time is important. This timeline of events can work in your favor if the police didn’t administer the blood test or breathalyzer test in the time required by law.
Rules of DUI Testing in Nevada
You might think the police are limited in what they can and cannot do when someone is suspected of DUI.
- They are only to pull you over with probable cause, like weaving, failure to stop, or any other non-explainable traffic offense.
- They can administer a field sobriety test at the time you are pulled over but they must adhere to the National Highway Traffic Safety standards when applying the test
- If you are arrested they must administer the blood or breathalyzer test within 2 hours of being arrested.
Can I Refuse to Take the DUI Tests
The first contact you have with a police officer when being pulled over for DUI in Nevada might mean them asking you to perform a field sobriety test involving a standardized group of 3 tests:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus ( the penlight test) or follow the light of the pen with your eyes
- Walk and turn test or walk a straight line and turn around
- One-legged stand test
You are not required to take this test and most defense attorneys would advise you not to but they are not with you at the time.
By declining the field sobriety test you will most likely be arrested for suspicion of DUI since police see a refusal to take DUI tests as a sign of guilt.
The second test that will be administered to you is a preliminary alcohol screening or PBT or roadside breath test. This is when you blow into a handheld breathalyzer and the machine measures the amount of alcohol in your breath.
If this test measures a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08% or higher, the individual will be arrested for DUI. The police are required to get that reading if pulled over for DUI if they have other probable cause or you refuse to take the test.
If you refuse to take the preliminary alcohol screening test, which you can, your license will be revoked for one year even if you are not charged or convicted of DUI.
Under Nevada’s implied consent laws, when you drive in Nevada, you give your implied consent to taking a preliminary breath test.
The third and final test that you will be given is the evidentiary breath test or blood test.
Once you have been arrested for suspicion of DUI you will be taken to the police station and held until you are released or bailed out.
At that time, the police have 2 hours from the time you arrive to administer the evidentiary breath or blood test.
Under Nevada’s implied consent law, you are required to submit to the blood or breathalyzer test at the police station. If you refuse, your license will be suspended automatically for one year. The police will ask for a court order to draw your blood and once that warrant is issued, the court can use reasonable force on you to carry out a forced blood draw.
So yes you can refuse to take the tests when you are pulled over for DUI in Nevada, but that has severe consequences including being forced to submit to the test anyway and loss of license.
Always call an attorney like The Defenders if you are suspected of DUI as soon as possible.
Can DUI Blood or Breathalyzer Test Be Contested
Nevada law requires rigid regulations the police and medical testers must adhere to when conducting evidentiary blood tests and determining the results.
If a defense team can prove that the police or tester failed in one of many areas then the DUI case against you may be able to be dismissed.
To challenge the validity of DUI blood test results a DUI defense attorney may use the following DUI defenses:
- The testing equipment was faulty, not properly maintained medical equipment or broken
- The medical professional who administered the test was not certified properly or not certified at all or the certification has lapsed and they have not been recertified (they must recertify every few years)
- The test was not administered in the allotted time (2 hours from arrival at the police station. Up to 3 tests can be administered in a 5-hour period.
- There was a break in the handling of the sample or evidence. Someone may have switched the samples or contaminated them
- You had a rising blood alcohol level, meaning your BAC kept rising after you stopped drinking. This can mean that your BAC was much lower when you were driving
- The blood from your blood test fermented after it was collected. Meaning it was improperly handled and can create its own alcohol and can create faulty results.
- The tester used an alcohol-based product to clean the draw area, this can cause an inaccurately high BAC
- The sample was stored improperly, or there was the wrong amount of preservatives in the sample.
Without evidentiary samples of tests as evidence in a DUI case, your criminal DUI lawyer might be able to convince the prosecutors that their evidence is too weak or doesn’t exist to go to trial and get a conviction.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer for a DUI Case?
Everyone arrested under suspicion of DUI should hire an experienced DUI attorney immediately. As we have explained there are some very time-sensitive things that you need to deal with when you are arrested for DUI.
In most cases, you will be released on ROI, but in some cases and if you have been convicted of one or more DUI convictions within seven years, you may need bail or have a bail hearing.
Once out of jail, you will be notified of the revocation of your license by the Nevada DMV. You have seven days to request a DMV hearing to keep your license until the court matter is resolved. Your attorney will attend that DMV hearing for you.
Once your case goes to court your defense team can use a variety of defenses to get your case dismissed.
In the case of a DUI conviction, your defense team can get the penalties to the minimum instead of the maximum fines, community service, or license revocation.
We never suggest that anyone drives under the influence or get behind the wheel after just having one drink can be dangerous, however, things happen sometimes.
We at The Defenders know how these things happen and are here to help you get on with your life. Call us today if you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI.