Microbial Contamination of the Blood Draw
With recent changes in Ohio OVI law, attorneys should expect more blood test cases.
Blood cases present the opportunity for multiple scientific defenses, but only if we recognize them and present them in a coherent manner before our judges. Many of these scientific defenses can arise from problems in the blood draw. If the blood draw is flawed microorganisms may contaminate the blood sample. If this happens sugars (natrually present in the blood) can be converted into ethanol, resulting in a fasley high test. Candida albicans is a yeast that lives on just about everything and is resistant to most preservatives. In Lakatuka, D.J., “The Effect of Microbial Contamination of the Blood Sample on the Determination of Ethanol Levels in Serum,” 60 Am. J. Clin. Path. 700, 701-02, researchers found that candida albicans produced a much greater amount of ethanol than did other micro-organisms and this production was “not at all inhibited by flouride (a common preservative). Cited in Barone, Defending Drinking Drivers, Second Ed., at 243.2.1.2.
As a practical matter, DUI defense attorneys can recognize this issue when a client presents a fact pattern inconsistent with the test. Often, you will have a client that has an incredibly high test, with little other evidence of gigantic consumption (clients keep your bar bills). If your jurisdiction utilizes the Vertical Gaze Nystagmus as an indicator of “high doses” of alcohol intake, was it present? If your case has a tape, is the performance on the standardized field sobriety tests consistent with the high test. If so, an experienced DUI attorney can create a SCIENTIFIC DISCONNECT DEFENSE to fight your case – and win!
Ohio OVI attorney Charles M. Rowland II has successfully suppressed blood tests from being presented as evidence by using his superior understanding of the blood draw issues. He has attended the National College for DUI Defense 16th Annual Forensic DUI Sciences seminar and is the only attorney in the State of Ohio to hold a Forensic Sobriety Assessment certification. If your DUI (now called OVI in Ohio) defense could benefit from a scientific defense, contact attorney Charles M. Rowland today at 937-318-1DUI (318-1384) or visit www.DaytonDUI.com.
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