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Why blood alcohol tests are used in drunk driving accidents

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2023 | PERSONAL INJURY (PLAINTIFF) - Drunk Driving Accidents

Florida law enforcement agencies frequently use blood alcohol tests to determine whether they should charge a motorist with driving under the influence. These tests can do more than measure the level of alcohol in your blood, as they are more accurate than breathalyzer tests and less likely to produce false positive results.

Legal reasons behind blood alcohol tests

Suspects arrested in drunk driving accidents have their blood alcohol measured in lab tests after the incident has occurred. The results can often take weeks before the lab reports the results, but they can also determine how much alcohol a person has consumed. Reasons for ordering a blood alcohol test include:

  • Driving under the influence
  • Consuming alcohol under the legal drinking age
  • Intoxication at the time of a motor vehicle accident
  • As part of a criminal investigation

Types of blood alcohol tests

Police and medical personnel use several types of blood alcohol tests. The most common is the blood alcohol content 9BAC) to determine how much an individual has recently consumed. Other standard tests are:

  • Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) to identify heavy alcohol use
  • Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) levels, usually used in research
  • Ethyl glucuronide/Ethyl sulfate (EtG/EtS), measuring chemicals that typically appear in urine or blood after drinking, but they can also be measured in the blood

Blood tests provide definitive proof

Breathalyzers are notoriously inaccurate due to law enforcement’s mistakes in administering them, while medications can also skew a reading. Defendants will commonly use these claims to reduce any awards in a personal injury claim resulting from a motor vehicle accident.

If you or a loved one are injured in a drunk driving accident, make sure that the police order a blood test and take the defendant to a lab to get definitive results. That action could make a difference in your claim.