Fighting Charges Of Drugged Driving (DUID) In Florida
A man facing manslaughter charges for a fatal crash maintained his innocence at his first court appearance, arguing that he wasn’t impaired by consumption of marijuana in the April 2017 incident. The Ocala Star Banner reported on September 25, 2017 that the accused slammed his truck into the back of a car that was stopped on State Road 40, killing the driver. Police officers arrived at the scene and requested that the man submits to chemical testing; the UF Forensic Toxicology Laboratory analyzed the blood sample, which revealed that there was marijuana in his system at a level that would have caused impairment. While every case is different, it’s possible to beat a driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) charge in Florida, and an attorney can help with your defense.
Insufficient Credentials or Training
There are many different individuals involved with chemical testing, from taking the specimen to storing it to analyzing the results. Only a properly qualified healthcare practitioner may draw blood, which means a physician or person acting under the supervision of a physician. In addition, the specialist that analyzes the test results must have the proper credentials to review the data and present a finding.
Beyond having a credentialed individual to draw blood, there are other protocols that officials must comply with for the sample to be admitted into evidence. For instance:
- The puncture site must be properly cleansed with a non-alcohol antiseptic;
- Blood must be collected in a glass vial that contains a preservative and anticoagulant;
- The sample must be manipulated to mix the blood with the preservative and anticoagulant;
- The blood sample must be properly labeled with information regarding the person providing and the person collecting the specimen.
Failure to Properly Preserve the Sample
Florida law provides certain requirements for preserving blood samples, including refrigeration depending on when the specimen will be analyzed by professionals. The vials must be hand-delivered or mailed within 30 days after collection, and must undergo initial analysis within 60 days of receipt by the lab. If mailed, officials must use priority mail or other appropriate overnight delivery service.
Breakdown in the Chain of Custody of the Sample
There must be a consistent chain of custody for a blood sample, from collection to reporting on the findings. If there are inconsistencies, the integrity of the specimen can be compromised, which may lead to inaccurate results. It’s possible to exclude the test details entirely if there are gaps in the chain of custody.
Defend DUID Charges with an Experienced Florida Attorney
A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs is serious, and even more so where an accident causes property damage, injury, or fatalities. Still, you do have rights to contest the charges where the conditions of a chemical test don’t comply with regulations or a specimen is compromised in some way. Fort Lauderdale lawyer Kevin J. Kulik has extensive experience in representing clients in DUI and DUID cases and will work with you to develop a strong defense strategy. Please contact our office today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.