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Challenging DUI Paramedic Blood Draws in Drunk Driving Cases


There are two main chemical tests to determine the amount of alcohol in a driver for evidence in drunk driving cases. They’re a breath alcohol test and a blood alcohol analysis. The arresting police officer usually makes that decision unless a driver refuses a breath test. One question we’re asked often is, “can paramedics do a DUI blood test?” The answer is complicated. This article will walk you through challenging DUI blood draws and why a good DUI defense attorney will always investigate how it was done in your case.

Police usually choose breath because it’s easier and quicker for the officer to administer.

It’s done at the police station on a breath alcohol instrument called a Datamaster.

When the driver refuses the breath test, the officer will attempt to get a warrant to draw the driver’s blood.

Most people think a blood test for alcohol is more accurate than a breath test.

Generally, a blood test is a better test to determine the amount of alcohol in a person only if the blood is drawn properly, preserved properly, delivered to the lab promptly, and analyzed strictly pursuant to applicable protocols and procedures.

As Michigan’s only Forensic-Scientist as certified by the American Chemical Society, Barton Morris and his team of DUI defense attorneys have the education and experience in attacking each one of these issues.

The issue that Barton Morris is fighting against right now, and plans on winning, is the unreliable paramedic blood draw.

Are you facing DUI charges? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.

Who Can Draw Blood During a DUI Investigation?

Michigan law states clearly that only a doctor, or an experienced person designated by that doctor, may draw blood for evidence of a DUI.

The law also clearly states that the person must be regularly supervised and trained by that doctor to ensure the individual knows what they’re doing and doing it correctly.

Officers dislike going to the local hospital for the blood draw because they have to leave the comfort of their police headquarters.

Depending on how busy it is, there may be a wait.

It’s the last thing they want to do.

To save the officer time, many cities have changed their policy and call in the local fire department paramedics to the police station and perform the blood draw there.

The goal for them is to save time, but what does that mean about the reliability of obtaining a blood sample?

Why are Fire Paramedics Drawing Blood in DUI Investigations?

City fire department paramedics are trained in life saving and emergency medical services.

Blood draws aren’t their typical assignment.

Further, they don’t work directly for or under the supervision of a doctor.

Their supervisor is the fire department chief, who isn’t a licensed physician.

There’s no one there to ensure they receive the training, continued education and supervision to guarantee they’re performing the blood draw properly, as the statute requires.

They’re also performing these blood draws at the police station which is far from the sanitary conditions of a hospital.

Even the back of an ambulance cannot compare.

Cities are sacrificing the integrity and reliability of a very important blood draw which will be used as evidence in a DUI prosecution, for the sake of expediency and convenience.

So the answer to the question, “can paramedics do a DUI blood test?” is yes.

But as you’ve learned, it’s rarely done properly and it will always be challenged by a good DUI defense attorney.

Justice should never surrender to convenience.

We Are Not Scared to Fight a Blood Draw

Local city attorneys and prosecutors have been getting away with this stunt by saying there’s another doctor that regularly supervises the paramedics, but that claim hasn’t been proven to be true.

In fact, our team has addressed this issue on appeal.

We’ll continue challenging DUI blood draws on behalf of our clients as we know too many innocent people are being charged as a result of not following procedures and a lack of expertise.

Are you facing DUI charges? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.

Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
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