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When a driver is arrested for driving under the influence they will be submitted to chemical testing. This testing is performed to help the officer determine if the individual was indeed under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving. This evidence is necessary to have in a court of law to verify the guilt of the arrested party.
In most cases, a blood or breath test will be used to verify the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the individual. Urine testing is no longer appropriate for the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol as it has shown major inaccuracies in the past. However, a urine test is considered sufficient evidence for testing if drugs were in the driver’s system.
A urine test will, therefore, be utilized when a driver is suspected of violating the California Vehicle Code Section 23152(e) VC, which is driving under the influence of drugs. Also, the urine test is appropriate in the case an individual was suspected of driving under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol, which is violating California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f) VC.
The Questionable Accuracy Of Urine Testing
As stated above, urine testing is considered an unreliable testing source for the presence of alcohol in a person’s system. It is only utilized to test for drug presence. When this happens, the test must be properly performed or the results of the test can be deemed invalid in a court of law.
When a urine test is to be administered there are specific steps that need to be followed according to the California Code of Regulations Title 17. This specifies how a urine sample is collected, stored, and then analyzed. Let’s take a look at what these steps are below.
The Process Of Urine Testing
Before a urine test is administered, the arrested party must first void their bladder. The urine sample that will be utilized for court evidence may be collected at least 20 minutes later. If the defendant is not given the chance to first void their bladder before the sample is taken or the sample is taken before 20 minutes after the defendant initially voids their bladder, the results can be deemed invalid with the help of a skilled Los Angeles DUI attorney.
Title 17 outlines the process by which the sample may be obtained. The arrested party is to be given sufficient privacy when giving the sample. However, the officer is permitted to take necessary precautions to ensure that the sample is not altered or obtained from another source.
The Main Reason Urine Testing For Alcohol Is Not Reliable
When it comes to using urine testing for alcohol, the results can be extremely unreliable. The BAC of the body is meant as a measurement of the alcohol in the blood, as alcohol present in the blood is what impairs a person’s mental state. Urine tends to hold a higher concentration of alcohol than the blood does. This means your urine level can be shown as much higher in alcohol content than your blood does at the same point in time.
The Main Reason Urine Testing For Drugs Is Not Reliable
The main reason that urine testing for drug use is not very accurate for driving under the influence charges is because the test can’t identify when the person took the drugs. For example, a person could have used marijuana days prior to the arresting incident.
The metabolites that are currently still present in the individual’s system are considered inactive. This means the inactive metabolites have no inherent effect on a person’s ability to be coherent. There is no way of proving that an individual was actually experiencing the impairing effects of drug use while driving at the time of their arrest when using a urine sample.