Title 17 Violations Defense
In handling driving under the influence cases and investigations, law enforcement agencies are expected to follow certain protocols to ensure that chemical testing is completed in accordance with the law. Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations sets forth the protocols of how DUI breath, blood and urine samples are obtained, stored and analyzed. If an officer did not comply with Title 17 requirements, there may be grounds to have the test results thrown out which may ultimately result in criminal charges being dismissed.Improperly Handled Testing
The California legislature has recognized that improperly handled testing can result inaccurate BAC results which may result in innocent people being charged with DUI offenses. Title 17 requirements are taken very seriously and any deviation can be very problematic for the prosecution’s case.Title 17 Blood Test Requirements
In regards to blood testing, Title 17 requires that the test be conducted by an authorized technician. Typically, a driver who selects the blood test will be transported to a hospital so that medical personnel can complete the blood draw. In addition, Title 17 requires that the site of the blood draw must be cleaned with a non-alcohol agent. If the sterilizing agent contains any alcohol, the resulting blood test may be tainted and the BAC results could be unnaturally high. Usually, the sterilizing agent used for DUI blood tests is hydrogen peroxide.
The blood sample must be stored in a vial that contains sufficient amounts anticoagulant or preservatives. These are used to ensure that the blood sample does not clot which could cause a falsely high BAC result. Title 17 further requires that the sample be thoroughly mixed with the anticoagulant or preservative, that the sample be stored at proper temperatures and that a chain of custody be maintained for the sample.Title 17 Breath Test Requirements
For breath tests, Title 17 requires that the breath sample tests a person’s deep lung air, also known as alveolar air. Before testing, the suspect must be observed for a period of at least 15 minutes. During the observation period, the person cannot eat, drink, smoke, vomit or otherwise regurgitate. In addition, the breath testing device must be calibrated every ten days or after 150 uses (whichever happens first). Title 17 breath test requirements are designed to ensure that a suspect’s breath sample is not tainted by the presence of mouth alcohol. This is why a suspect must be observed for 15 minutes. Sometimes, an officer may grow impatient and not observe the suspect for the full time period or may ignore signs of regurgitation associated with reflux conditions such as GERD. In these cases, the presence of mouth alcohol may lead to abnormally high BAC results on the Breathalyzer test and can be considered a Title 17 violation.
Title 17 also applies to DUI urine tests. These tests are highly discouraged in California and are considered far less reliable than the breath or blood test. A urine test is only an option when neither a blood or breath test is available and when the driver is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs. If a urine test is used, the test subject must first empty his or her bladder and then provide the urine sample at least 20 minutes later.
If you have been charged with a DUI offense, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Attorney Michael Kraut is well-versed in Title 17 requirements and understands how to effectively raise Title 17 defense in court and before the DMV.
For more information about Los Angeles DUI Title 17 violations, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.