DUI Urine Test Problems
By Andrew Mishlove on October 30, 2018
If you have been pulled over for drunk driving, the law enforcement officer has a number of ways to check your blood alcohol content (BAC). Field sobriety tests only check for coordination and outward signs of intoxication, and breathalyzers are inaccurate assessments of actual BAC. You may be asked to take a urine or blood test to assess BAC. Attorneys Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert would like you to know that even these tests can be inaccurate.
Given the realities of inaccurate BAC tests, it’s important that you work with a Milwaukee, WI DUI defense attorney from Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC. We’d like to take a moment to consider how urine tests work and why inaccuracies may arise. This should help you understand why it’s so crucial to team with a skilled defense lawyer.
How Urine Tests Work
After arrest, a urine sample is taken from you at the police station. This urine sample is analyzed in a lab to check a person’s blood alcohol content.
If you read that previous sentence once more, you can probably understand why urine tests are considered one of the least reliable ways of checking a person’s BAC.
Urine Tests Are Not an Accurate Measure of BAC
Simply put, your urine and your blood are different matters entirely. You may be within the legal limit for driving, but your urine test may tell a different story. The results can vary.
Sometimes your urine shows a much higher alcohol concentration than is actually present in your bloodstream. Experts estimate that the alcohol concentration in urine may be 1.33 times higher than the alcohol concentration in your blood. That can make a difference when it comes to barely exceeding the .08 legal limit.
The Time You Last Drank Alcohol Matters
One major factor that changes the results of a urine test is the last time you ingested alcohol.
If you had a lot of water roughly an hour ago but then had a few shots of alcohol 15 minutes before getting behind the wheel, that alcohol will not have reached your bladder by the time a urine test is administered.
Conversely, if you had a few drinks three or four hours earlier in the night but then did not have another alcoholic beverage, the drinks you had a while ago will have traveled through your system. A urine test may show a misleadingly high alcohol concentration in your urine that is not an accurate reflection of your BAC at the time.
Potential Contamination and Mishandling of Sample
As with any sort of chemical test, there are also factors of contamination and mishandling to consider. Problems with temperature in the lab, long storage times, improper testing techniques, and mix ups regarding labels can lead to false positives regarding urine tests. These factors also have to be considered when it comes to blood tests.
The above realities about urine tests for BAC are why having a skilled DUI defense lawyer is so crucial.
Speak with a DUI Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with drunk driving and would like to learn more about your defense options, we encourage you to contact our team of DUI defense attorneys. Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC Attorneys at Law is here to help you. You can reach our Milwaukee office by phone at (414) 206-6776.
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