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3 reasons why your DWI blood test might be wrong

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2022 | Firm News

You may be surprised when the police pull you over on suspicion of DWI. However, you’ll be even more surprised if the blood alcohol test turns out positive. While blood tests are often considered more accurate than other tests, these tests sometimes give a false positive that can lead to DWI charges and a potential conviction.

Even if you felt lucid and completely coherent before the traffic stop, the blood alcohol content may say something different. But why did the results turn out so high when you felt sober? Below are a few potential reasons why you may end up with erroneous blood test results:

1. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) rises gradually

When you left the bar, it’s possible that you were within the legal alcohol limit to operate your vehicle. But, because the body takes some time to absorb and process all the alcohol in the system, a significant delay between when you are stopped and when you are tested could result in a higher reading.

2. Inaccurate mixtures can skew the results

Technicians add sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate when conducting a blood test. However, when these elements are not added to the proper ratios, the blood sample may clot. This impacts the liquid-to-solid ratio, which may give a false-positive result.

3. Poor storage can affect the quality of the test

Usually, a technician draws blood using a vacutainer. Although this device has a seal to protect the blood sample from contamination, the seal of an expired vacutainer may not be effective. Unfortunately, most technicians don’t inspect the expiration date.

In other instances, the seal of the vacutainer may be faulty. If a seal is faulty, bacteria can enter the vial and contaminate the blood. Contaminated blood, even with no alcohol, can ferment and give a false positive.

There are several reasons why your blood test may give a false positive. But when this happens, consider seeking legal guidance, especially if you were involved in a DWI accident.

If you have recently been pulled over or arrested for a DWI contact an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as possible.   DWI cases can be difficult to navigate alone; having the help of a knowledgeable DWI attorney is invaluable to ensuring your rights are protected.

To inquire about how the Law Offices of Ramos & Del Cueto in Bexar County, TX can assist you in your case, call 210-761-6004.