Objective evidence of intoxication is achieved through accurate testing of a persons breath. Another way Police Officers can obtain objective evidence of intoxication is through testing a persons blood for their blood alcohol content (or B.A.C.). There are two types of blood draws in Florida:
Legal Blood Draws:
A legal blood draw occurs when a person is transported to a medical facility and an officer requests that a medical professional draw blood from the individual in order to test that blood to find out the persons blood alcohol content. Special circumstances need to exist in order for an officer to be able to request a legal blood draw – if the officer has not followed the law than the results of the blood test can be suppressed (i.e. they can be thrown out of the case and the Prosecutor can not use the blood test against you).
Medical Blood Draws:
A medical blood draw occurs when a doctor, nurse or otherwise authorized medical professional draws someones blood at the hospital absent a request from a Police Officer to do so. In order to obtain the results of a medical blood draw the Prosecutor will have to subpoena your medical records. All citizens of the United States have a right to privacy guaranteed by the United States Constitution and people in Florida have further privacy rights through the State of Florida’s Constitution and other State legislation. These privacy rights do not keep the Prosecutor from having a right to subpoena the results of your medical blood test but they do put narrow guidelines upon how that blood must be drawn and what procedures must be followed between the drawing of the blood and the blood being subpoenaed by the Prosecutor. If those guidelines were not followed the law holds that the results of the blood test can be suppressed.
Blood Testing Privacy Rights
In order to properly subpoena your medical blood records the Prosecutor will have to show relevance and notice. While the relevance of a persons blood alcohol content during a DUI investigation is fairly clear the notice requirement can sometimes be problematic for the prosecutor. While there is a narrow exception to your privacy right regarding your medical records that allows a medical professional to tell an officer what your blood alcohol content is they must follow very narrow guidelines when doing so. The only information the medical professional is allowed to divulge to the officer is the name of the person who drew the blood, the date of the blood test, the time of the blood test and the blood alcohol result. If, for instance, the medical professional gave the officer a copy of your medical file and allowed the officer to look through your file the officer would be improperly viewing your private medical information beyond the narrow confines of the privacy exception. In situations like this a notice argument can be made in order to get the results of you blood alcohol test suppressed.
Fighting Your Blood Draws
The experienced Fort Myers DUI lawyers from Viacava & Cantor understand how to fight legal blood draws and medical blood draws. If you have been arrested for DUI in Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Port Charlotte or Punta Gorda contact a lawyer from Viacava & Cantor for a free consultation at 239-672-8934 (Fort Myers) or 941-388-7810 (Sarasota) to discuss the specific facts of your case.