Urine Testing

Florida DUI Attorney

Any driver who is arrested for DUI in Florida must take a breath, blood, or urine test to ascertain his or her blood alcohol content. Urine tests are more reliable and commonly used in combination with breathalyzers, but blood tests are considered the most accurate. If you have been arrested for DUI, an experienced attorney can defend your case and work to get your charges reduced.

Implied Consent

Florida’s implied consent law requires those who operate a motor vehicle in Florida to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test if arrested for DUI, as long as the officer has a reasonable belief of the driver’s impairment. If a driver first takes a breathalyzer test, the officer can require another type of test, whether blood or urine, afterward in order to ascertain the breath test’s reliability. Often, drivers are asked to take a urine test if they blow lower than the legal limit of 0.08% in a breathalyzer.

Urine Testing

Urine tests are often used in cases where law enforcement suspects that illegal substances other than alcohol are present in the driver’s system. They can be used to detect substances including:

  • Marijuana;
  • Heroin;
  • Cocaine;
  • Opiates;
  • Amphetamines;
  • Pain pills; and
  • Other medications.

Even prescription drugs, such as valium or oxycodone, or legal over-the-counter medications, such as sleeping pills or cough medicine can cause a driver to fail a urine test. Some medications, though legal, cause sufficient impairment in reaction time, judgment, or other areas that driving while under the influence of the medications is prohibited and can lead to a DUI conviction.

Procedure

In Florida, urine tests are required to be administered at a hospital or police station. The DUI offender must completely empty his or her bladder then wait at least twenty minutes before the officer may collect a urine sample, in order to ensure the accuracy of the results. The officer must ensure both the accuracy of the sample, which must be provided in the presence of a law enforcement officer, and the privacy of the arrestee. The sample is then delivered for analysis.

Drawbacks

A knowledgeable attorney may be able to get urine test results thrown out as evidence, as there are several inaccuracies and opportunities for improper administration. For example, officers may make errors in collection or fail to have the sample analyzed in a timely fashion.

Urine testing involves the detection of concentrations of alcohol or illegal substances in water. The level of alcohol in urine is about 1.33 times the concentration of alcohol in blood, so urine tests can inaccurately show high level of alcohol or controlled substances, and blood tests are generally considered to be more accurate.

Urine testing measures the level of metabolites from drugs present in urine, rather than the actual presence of drugs. Metabolites are trace chemicals that remain after the drug has been broken down in the body. Thus, urine testing may show prior use, rather than proving that the driver was under the influence while operating the motor vehicle.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, it is vital to obtain the advice of an experienced attorney. Please contact West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney William Wallshein to schedule an initial consultation.