Different Types of Alcohol Tests (Blood, Urine or Breath)

Blood, Urine And Breath Alcohol Tests

Blood alcohol content (BAC) of a suspected drunk driver can be measured by using a blood test, urine test or breath test.  A warrant is now needed for a blood or urine test in Minnesota.

The defense attorneys at Ryan & Grinde, Ltd., in Rochester and St. Charles are experienced in all three types of blood alcohol tests. We understand the manner in which these tests should be administered, and we are well aware of the mistakes that can occur when law enforcement administers such tests. Talk to us to learn more: 507-218-7935 .

Three Types Of Alcohol Tests

The constitutionality of breath, blood and urine tests has long been an issue in Minnesota. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision states that police do not need a warrant for breath tests but do need a warrant for blood tests. Additionally, the Minnesota Supreme Court recently decided that police do need a warrant for urine tests. You can still be asked to take one, but it is not a crime to refuse a blood or urine test unless police have a warrant.

  • Breath test: This is the most common BAC test, and it is administered by the Intoxilyzer 5000, an infrared breath alcohol machine. Per Minnesota statutes, the machine runs two tests and a control test. Each test generates two BAC results — the results of all three tests must be within 0.02 percent of each other. The Intoxilyzer 5000 can produce inaccurate results due to radio frequency interference and an individual’s body chemistry.
  • Blood test: This test is the most accurate, but it is generally not used unless the Intoxilyzer is not working. A trained professional must administer the test, and it is the most invasive of the tests due to needles being stuck into a vein.
  • Urine test: The urine test is the least reliable for several reasons. It may only measure the BAC of the individual 60 to 90 minutes before the test, a person’s metabolism and hydration levels can affect the results.

Each test must be administered following protocol, and the rules are often overlooked. Our lawyers can poke holes in the prosecution’s case by showing that law enforcement did not administer the tests properly thus resulting in an inaccurate BAC measurement.

Call Us For A Consultation

Ryan & Grinde, Ltd., in Rochester is here to help you fight these drunk driving charges with expansive knowledge of the inner workings of blood alcohol tests. Schedule your consultation by calling us locally at 507-218-7935. We can also be contacted online.