In our last post, we began speaking about a Texas woman who is currently suing multiple parties in court over a horrible blood draw to which she was subjected. While hers is a civil case which deals with allegations of unlawful search and seizure, assault, battery, negligence, excessive use of force and medical malpractice, improperly performed blood testing is also something that must be dealt with in criminal defense.
Two points we want to mention about this issue: firstly, that police must have a valid basis for taking a blood test in the first place; and second, the blood test must be performed correctly to hold any evidential weight in court.
As to the first point, police officers must generally have a warrant in order to draw blood from a DUI suspect, unless certain exceptions apply, and the warrant must be properly established. DUI defendants should always explore these issues with their criminal defense attorney to make sure everything was done correctly in their case. Second, the blood test must be performed properly, according to the established state standards, or it could be open to criticism for inaccuracy. State law specifies that only certain qualified individuals may take a blood test and under the right conditions.
Whether these requirements are followed can impact not only a criminal case, but also the suspect’s ability to hold other parties participating in the blood draw liable for harm that occurs. Under state law, when a blood test is taken in accordance with recognized medical procedures, hospitals and other facilities which employ the individuals taking the blood test may not be sued for damages. That being said, the actual individuals taking the test may still be held liable for any negligence that occurs in the procedure.
Again, DUI suspects who have been subjected to a traumatic or questionable blood test should always be sure to work out the issue with an experienced attorney who can see that their rights are protected.