Orange County Crime Lab Now Tests All DUI Blood Samples For Drugs
Motorists who are stopped for suspicion of DUI and are arrested are given a choice between a breath test or a blood test under the California Implied Consent Laws. By statute, the police are required to advise you that a sample of your breath is not retained for later testing if you want to to challenge the breath test. They also tell you that you can submit to a voluntary blood test as well and have a sample of your blood available to re-test. They don’t advise you that the police crime lab will also re-test your blood. Some people will opt for the breath test and also consent to the “Trombetta” blood test. Some people will choose a blood test while others will refuse all tests and be compelled by warrant to submit to a blood test. Refusal to take a chemical test has serious consequences and in most cases will result in the police getting a warrant to draw your blood without your consent. This can be the worst of all worlds. For more information, see our blog on Forced Blood Draws
BE AWARE THAT IF YOU GIVE A BLOOD TEST FOR A DUI IN ORANGE COUNTY YOUR BLOOD WILL BE TESTED FOR DRUGS
What all motorist should know is that there has been a change in procedures in Orange County. It used to be that the crime lab would run blood samples for alcohol only unless the officer noted that drugs were suspected or the results were below the 0.08% level. Under the new procedure, the crime lab will now run a screening test on all samples of blood obtained in DUI arrests for common drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, prescription pain medication, prescription anxiety medication, prescription sleep medication, prescription cough syrup etc. If the screening test comes up positive for any drug that will affect your driving, a confirmatory test will be done and if the drug is confirmed, you will be charged with Vehicle Code 23152(f) driving under the influence of drugs or Vehicle Code 23152(g) driving while under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol. The fact that you have a prescription is no defense if the prosecution can establish impairment to drive. If you are ultimately convicted of a DUI drugs charge or combined drug and alcohol charge you will be unable to benefit from laws that allow for an early termination of your suspension if you are a multiple offender with prior convictions within 10 years.