Drivers may be required to take a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test in California. BAC tests are generally only required if a law enforcement officer has reason to believe someone was driving under the influence (DUI). These tests are important, and generally, the prosecution will not proceed with a DUI case in a California court until the results come back.
So, how long does it take for DUI blood samples to come back in California? The amount of time it takes to complete BAC testing depends on several factors, but it’s usually about a month. Our firm can help you understand DUI blood testing better or help you with a failure on a BAC test.
The Arresting Officer May Provide an Estimate on BAC Results
Generally, at the time an individual must go through BAC testing, the officer who made the arrest will explain how long they will have to wait for the results. In California, officers frequently advise drivers that their results should take around a month.
However, the amount of time it takes DUI blood samples to come back can vary greatly. Law enforcement officers rely on laboratories to complete the assessments. There may be a delay in getting a BAC blood test’s result if:
- The driver lives in a large, busy city
- The lab happens to be overwhelmed with other tests
- The test was mishandled or misplaced
How long it takes to get DUI blood test results in CA can depend on other factors, too. DUI blood samples sometimes come back within four to six weeks, but many tests can take more than six months before they are completed. The longer it takes to get your results back, the easier it may be for your drunk driving accident lawyer in Los Angeles, CA to question the validity of these tests.
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DUI Breath Tests Take Less Time to Return Results
A law enforcement officer must offer drivers the choice between completing a breath or blood test if they are arrested for a DUI. Breath tests are less invasive, and they generally return results much faster. However, drivers who complete a breath test:
- Cannot get the sample re-tested in an independent laboratory
- May get an inaccurate estimate of their BAC since the test measures alcohol in their breath, not in their blood
In some cases, an officer may allow a driver to take a urine test, as well, but these tests are less common. Drivers must pick one of the tests after they are arrested for a DUI. Refusing to take a BAC test can result in legal penalties. Our firm can tell you more about options for BAC testing.
Timeframe for Independent Testing of DUI Blood Samples
Drivers in the state of California who take a DUI blood test may request a portion of their drawn blood. This sample may be sent to an independent laboratory for retesting. To acquire this sample of blood, a criminal defense lawyer must file a “blood split motion.” Talk to a DUI lawyer if you think an independent laboratory test may help your case.
So how long does it take to get independent DUI blood test results in California? Private laboratories take varying amounts of time to complete a BAC test. The amount of time drivers must wait to get their DUI blood samples back will vary. Contacting a laboratory and asking about their wait time can give drivers a better idea of how long the process will take.
Uses of a DUI Blood Test in California
A DUI blood test can provide information about a driver’s BAC at the time they were operating their vehicle. Drivers can be charged with a DUI if their BAC exceeds the legal limits set by the state. Generally, drivers must keep their BAC below:
- 0.08% if they are non-commercial drivers over 21
- 0.04% if they are commercial drivers over 21
- 0.01% if they are drivers under 21
A blood test directly measures the amount of alcohol in a driver’s blood. As such, BAC test results are often used to strengthen the prosecution’s case.
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Methods to Challenge a DUI Blood Test Result in Los Angeles
A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can help if your BAC test results come back and show your BAC was over the legal limit. Your lawyer may be able to dispute the BAC test results by arguing that:
- The officer performed the test improperly
- The laboratory did not follow procedures
- The sample was contaminated or allowed to ferment
- The sample was allowed to sit without refrigeration
During a free initial consultation and case review, we can tell you more about how you can get help blocking or disputing the results of a DUI test.
Additional Methods of Challenging the Case Against You
If you’re charged with a DUI, in addition to arguing against the test results, your attorney can argue against certain circumstances around your arrest. For one, your attorney could argue your arrest was unlawful if the arresting officer didn’t have actual probable cause to arrest you. If the officer didn’t tell you about the repercussions of refusing a test, your attorney could argue the officer failed to inform you thoroughly.
There may be other methods of challenging the prosecution’s case, such as arguing a lack of evidence, unconvincing evidence, illegally obtained evidence, or entrapment. Any of the methods we’ve mentioned could lead to your charges being reduced or dropped.
Exactly How Your California DUI Attorney Can Help
There’s a lot one of our firm’s DUI attorneys can do for you. Your attorney can take over your entire case, including every task involved in building and resolving your case. These tasks include:
- Communicating with others involved in the case: This can be the authorities and the prosecution. You don’t have to speak with them at all, and you certainly shouldn’t answer their questions. Your attorney can do this for you to protect you from potentially incriminating yourself.
- Investigating the case against you: The prosecution’s evidence may be lacking or flawed. Your attorney will look for issues with this evidence and the case against you.
- Establishing your case: To do this, your lawyer will present evidence and corroborative evidence to the prosecution and the judge. This evidence may be your DUI test results and a witness’s statement.
- Determining your defense(s): There may be one sound method or multiple methods of challenging the case against you. Your lawyer will find the best one(s) for your case.
- Exploring other options: Your lawyer will also find out what other legal options may be available to you, such as bail, a plea bargain, or having your charges expunged from your record.
Don’t Wait for Your DUI Blood Samples to Come Back
You might be worried about your DUI test results. If so, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer right away. They can get started on your case immediately, and the more time your lawyer has to build up your case, the stronger it will be.
If you’re still unsure about hiring a lawyer from our firm, we can tell you about how our California DUI lawyers handle DUI cases. We fight hard for the underdog, especially when the charge is unfounded or unreasonable. We also have many allies in the legal space who we can count on for additional resources and any testimony for a client’s case.
Our attorneys have decades of experience handling criminal cases, and our lead attorney, Michael Simmrin, has a great deal of experience handling jury trials. We’re confident we can handle your case, too. Since your initial consultation with us is free, you have nothing to lose by speaking with us.
Get Help Handling a DUI Blood Sample in California
It can take weeks or months for a DUI blood sample to come back in California. The professionals at Simmrin Law Group can begin working on your defense before the BAC testing is complete. Getting help right away may improve your chance of successfully resolving a DUI accusation. Find out more by speaking to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles from our firm.
Reach out to Simmrin Law Group for a FREE case evaluation. Call or fill out our online contact form to get a hold of us.