If you are arrested for DWI in Texas, the police can draw a blood sample from you as evidence. Like your breath, your blood can indicate the level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) you have at the time of your arrest. Unlike your breath, however, your blood can be stored and reviewed days, weeks, or even months after your arrest.
There is often a misperception that a BAC derived from a blood sample is more accurate than a breathalyzer’s results. While a lot of insight can be gained from a blood sample, however, it’s far from infallible. In fact, a blood sample that’s improperly handled or stored can undergo a biological process that can elevate its BAC value after it leaves the body.
What Is Blood Fermentation?
Blood fermentation is a biological process that elevates the level of alcohol in blood, and it’s not unlike the fermentation process used to produce for alcoholic beverages.
Blood contains sugar and microscopic organisms, the latter of which consumes the sugar and excretes alcohol. If this is allowed to occur uninterrupted, it can artificially raise the BAC of a blood sample after a draw.
How Does Blood Fermentation Occur?
Blood ferments when it’s not properly handled, treated, or stored. Upon drawing a blood sample from a DWI suspect, sodium fluoride (or another preservative) must be added to prevent fermentation.
Additionally, the sample must be refrigerated or frozen in a timely manner and kept in that state until it can be tested.
Can Blood Fermentation Cause a DWI Conviction?
It’s possible, which is why it’s important to hire an experienced DWI attorney who is familiar with the various factors that can contribute to an unfair conviction. Blood fermentation can be one of these factors because a blood sample may not accurately reflect what a defendant’s BAC was at the time of their arrest.
If there is any evidence that the prosecution is presenting a fermented blood sample, that evidence should be challenged by the defense counsel and thrown out by the court.
Contact Our Attorney for Legal Assistance
The Law Office of Rene A. Flores PLLC can help you defend against DWI charges. We have the experience to know what to look for when it comes to defending our clients, and we can build sophisticated defenses that can help clients mitigate their responsibility for charges.
Rest assured that if you know you’re being unfairly accused of DWI by the state of Texas, The Law Office of Rene A. Flores PLLC can offer the legal representation you need to overcome this challenge.
For more information or to request a consultation, contact us online.