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OVI Blood Tests in Steubenville

Steubenville OH criminal lawyer, Sean Logue, can offer invaluable insights into the blood testing process in cases involving suspicion of OVI. When an individual gets arrested, the officer often requests a blood test to determine the blood alcohol concentration (BAC). It’s worth noting that individuals impliedly consented to such tests by signing for a driver’s license. Refusing to undergo a blood draw can result in charges of refusal to submit to chemical testing, carrying both criminal and administrative consequences.

Blood Test Facts

There are two types of blood samples: “legal blood,” requested by a police officer, and “medical blood,” which encompasses records obtained from the hospital. In certain instances, officers may try to access hospital records to employ BAC records as evidence in OVI cases.

In Ohio, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies have three methods for obtaining blood test results or hospital records: obtaining a search warrant, making a law enforcement request, or submitting a request for hospital records.

Law Enforcement Request for Blood Test Records

Law enforcement requests for blood test records occur when someone is arrested on suspicion of OVI. The blood is typically drawn at a hospital by a qualified professional, such as a phlebotomist, physician, technician, or registered nurse. This process is governed by Section 4511.19(D)(1)(b) of the Ohio Revised Code.

The procedures for drawing blood are outlined in the Ohio Administrative Code, specifically in section 3701.53. It’s crucial to note that the lab or hospital conducting the blood draw must possess the necessary permits for the results to be admissible in court. Alternatively, the prosecutor may present expert testimony to establish the credibility of the blood test results.

In situations where a suspect’s blood test is taken for medical reasons, a police officer can make a law enforcement records request to access the results. For example, if a driver involved in an accident is taken to the hospital and blood is drawn due to injuries, an officer can request the hospital to release the blood test results if alcohol involvement is suspected. However, for the results to be admissible in court, the hospital must be a specially permitted facility following standard protocol, or the results must be presented alongside expert testimony.

Alternatively, an officer can obtain a blood sample by using a search warrant to directly retrieve it from the hospital. The search warrant serves as an instruction for the medical facility to release the sample to law enforcement, who will then have it analyzed at a different location.

It is crucial to recognize the challenges that HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) laws pose for police officers when requesting records. However, there are exceptions to these privacy rules that allow hospitals to disclose information to law enforcement under specific circumstances:

  • When a court orders it, either through a search warrant or another court order.
  • For investigations, inspections, licensure, and audits as required by state, federal, or local law.
  • In cases where an individual has made threats to commit a crime, is a crime victim, or has been involved in a crime.

Refusing or Failing a Blood Test

It is important to note that you have the right to refuse a blood test after an OVI arrest. However, it is essential to understand the significant legal and civil consequences associated with this decision. To ensure the best possible representation tailored to your specific situation, it is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced Steubenville OH OVI lawyer. Sean Logue, a skilled and knowledgeable attorney with extensive experience in handling numerous cases, can provide the expert legal assistance you need. For a consultation, call (330) 992-3036.

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