Drivers may be required to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test in California. BAC tests are generally only required if a law enforcement officer has reason to believe someone is driving under the influence (DUI). These tests are important, and generally, the prosecution will not proceed with a DUI case in California court until the results come back.
So, how long does it take for DUI blood samples to come back in California? Review the expected amount of time it takes to complete BAC testing with the Simmrin Law Group. Get help handling failure on a BAC test by calling us at (310) 997-4688.
The Arresting Officer May Provide an Estimate on BAC Results
Generally, at the time an individual goes through BAC testing, the officer who completed the tests will provide information about 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 exact 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 BAC results if:
- A driver lives in a large, busy city
- The lab happens to be overwhelmed with other tests
- Their test was mishandled or misplaced
DUI blood samples do sometimes come back within four-to-six weeks, but many tests can take more than six months before they are completed.
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 report of their BAC, since the test measures alcohol in their breath
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. Refusal to take a BAC test can result in legal penalties. Learn more about options for BAC testing by calling (310) 997-4688.
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. In order to acquire this sample of blood, a criminal defense lawyer must file a “blood split motion.”
Private laboratories take varying amounts of time to complete a BAC test. The amount of time drivers have to wait to get back their DUI blood samples 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 case of the prosecution.
Methods to Challenge a DUI Blood Test 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. A lawyer can dispute 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
You can get help blocking or disputing the results of a DUI test by contacting the Simmrin Law Group now.
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 the Simmrin Law Group can begin working on your defense before BAC testing is complete. Getting help right away improves your chances of successfully resolving DUI accusations. Find out more by speaking to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles for a FREE case evaluation.
Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.