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Howard County DUI Drug Tests

Unlike standard DUIs, a breath test will not give a result for drugs. Therefore, in the cases of DUIDs in Howard County, blood tests and blood kits are used to determine if someone is under the influence of drugs while they have been driving.

A blood kit must be done correctly and is a distinctly different process than breath tests. Rather than just breathing into a tube, a blood kit requires someone who is in the forensic science division. A majority of these people are from the Maryland state police, and that is where the actual blood kit will go. In addition, that individual needs to be introduced as an expert by the state because they would be testifying in regards to the analysis of the blood sample, the presence of alcohol or any drug, and their opinion on if the equipment and procedures followed were done correctly.

Details of the Test

A blood test involves utilizing the equipment approved by the state toxicologist. It is under the post-mortem examiner’s commission notes as to the way to do a proper blood draw and that the laboratory report was done the way it was supposed to be done. There also needs to be confirmation that the blood kit was a sealed kit, that it was opened for the purposes of this test, all the things were done under observation, and more importantly, that the parties involved with regards to the actual blood kit are going to be able to testify.

It is not as simple as just a breath test. For a blood test, the Howard County officer that made the stop would certainly be able to act as a witness to the way things were done, the forensic scientist would be there, and the individual from the hospital or shock trauma phlebotomist who did the blood draw themselves would be there. The procedures are very specific, and those individuals would need to be present in court.

What It Shows

That blood test can pick up everything that is in a person’s blood, meaning if they are taking an allergy pill, it may come up. If they are taking Valium, take anything for depression anxiety, smoke marijuana, or have taken any other drugs or medication, it will come up in their blood.

Blood Test Refusal

A person can refuse to take these tests in Howard County. If they have been properly advised of their rights on a DR-15 form, on the bottom of it on  the right-hand side it discusses blood kits or a blood draw and there is a box there which allows a person to decline the testing.

Accuracy

These tests can certainly be accurate when testing someone’s blood for a positive response to a drug. A post-mortem kit is used and the transfer of that kit to forensics means everything has to be checked in and checked out in a proper chain of title; all of these things have to be done in exactly the same order.

For a good test result, it has to travel the way that it is supposed to from one hand to the next. If, for any reason, it does not travel that right way—if it has been left out, if it was not transported in a window of time that is considered to be right and proper window—then the test itself can be compromised.

It is blood, and blood can certainly spoil if it is not stored or kept properly, if it is not tested in an immediate state, and if it is allowed to sit for a long period of time prior to its test. There have always been questions asked about what if anything can come from a delayed test.