Always start with the witness who drew the blood. Determine if a paramedic at the scene, paramedic at the police facility, phlebotomist, nurse or doctor at the hospital conducted the blood draw. A deposition is necessary to determine the training and experience of the blood drawer. Often hospital personnel drawing blood have been trained and are doing so to comply with medical protocol and not necessarily legal considerations. Hospital tests for blood alcohol are generally not whole blood tests but tests of serum or plasma. Any alcohol test completed by a hospital must be investigated to determine if it was in fact, a whole blood test.

If a blood draw kit was used it must be determined what kit was used and who provided it. Many police agencies will provide a blood draw kit to the drawer. It should contain a sterile nonalcoholic swab, syringe, needle and two gray top tubes. Check the expiration date. These blood draw kits have a limited shelf life.

If the hospital is providing the tubes to the law enforcement officers, ensure that the proper tubes are utilized. All law enforcement blood tests must use gray top tubes. Grey top tubes ensure the integrity of the sample because they contain an anticoagulant and a preservative.

Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

Launch Video »