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Potential Flaws in Urine Testing for DUI Arrests By Jason Trumpler, P.C. on February 18, 2014

Urine Drunk Driving Test FlawsThere are many different methods that law enforcement may use to assess the sobriety of a person. Some of these methods are more accurate than others. Breath tests and blood tests are more reliable than urine tests, for instance. And yet, many law enforcement agencies will administer a urine test when they are unable to perform a breath or blood test.

These matters need to be taken very seriously since urine tests are not an accurate measure of current blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest. When you speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney, you can learn more about these strategies in greater detail. Let's take a moment to consider these kinds of tests right now.

How are urine sobriety tests performed?

A urine test for drunk driving involves a chemical analysis of a person's urine to determine if there are any illicit substances in that person's system. Urine tests are generally reliable for detecting concentrations of drugs and other chemical substances other than alcohol, but when it comes to alcohol, there are numerous flaws to consider.

Can I refuse a urine sobriety test?

Even though a driver can refuse a field sobriety test, it is generally not advisable for a driver to refuse any chemical tests for sobriety (i.e., blood, breath, urine). This can result in license suspension and evidence that you are consciously aware that you were driving while drunk.

Keep in mind that while urine tests are unreliable, your DWI defense lawyer will take the results of your urine test into consideration when creating a defense strategy given the circumstances of your arrest.

Lab Errors In Urine Tests

Urine tests are subject to the same potential lab errors as blood tests, such as mishandling of the sample and contamination. That said, there are much more compelling flaws to consider when it comes to urine tests.

Alcohol Content In Urine Is Different Than Blood Alcohol Content

The concentration of alcohol found in one's urine is nowhere near the same as the amount of alcohol found in one's bloodstream. In fact, it's sometimes a bit higher. Some experts suggest that the alcohol content from a urine test is roughly 1.33 times higher than that which would be measured in a blood test. Sometimes the amount of alcohol in the urine may be twice the amount as the alcohol content in a blood sample.

Flaws Regarding Basic Bladder Function

The contents of your bladder can tell an incomplete story. If you had a fair amount to drink but have not urinated in a few hours, the alcohol content in your urine will be skewed. Your blood alcohol content may be within the legal limit in the present, but the urine test may be grossly inaccurate since it measures past alcohol consumption.

What This Means for Those Arrested for Drunk Driving

Having a skilled DUI defense lawyer is crucial for ensuring that you receive a fair shake from the law. By having a member of our legal team on your side, you will have skilled litigators who will identify unfairness and poor procedures in all their forms to help you fight your drunk driving arrest.

Learn More About Your Drunk Driving Defense Options

For more information about legal defense options following a drunk driving arrest, be sure to contact our Austin, TX DUI/DWI defense attorneys today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make wise decisions with regard to all of your legal options.

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Jason Trumpler

The Law Offices of Jason Trumpler

Jason Trumpler has handled thousands of criminal cases over nearly 20 years. He is a current or past member of several national, state, and local legal associations, including:

  • American Bar Association
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Williamson County Bar Association
  • National College for DUI Defense®
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association

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