OVI Blood Tests
Youngstown OVI lawyer Sean Logue will tell you that if you are arrested for suspicion of OVI, the arresting officer will likely ask you to submit to a blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The cop must read you a paper reminding you that you implied your consent to such tests when you signed for your driver’s license. If you refuse to allow the blood to be drawn, you can be charged with refusal to submit to chemical testing. There are serious consequences to such a refusal, both criminal and administrative.Blood Test Facts
Samples of blood taken at the request of a police officer are called “legal blood.” Those whose records the officer has gotten from the hospital are called “medical blood.” Many times, the arresting police man or woman will try to obtain hospital records so they can use the BAC records in their case against someone accused of OVI.
The law in Ohio gives prosecutors and cops three methods of getting blood test results or records from hospitals: a search warrant, a law enforcement request, or a hospital records request.Law Enforcement Request for Blood Test Records
When an officer arrests you on suspicion of OVI, he or she will request that you allow a blood test to be performed. You then consent (or not, though the consequences of that choice are not very good), and then the blood is drawn, usually at a hospital. One of the following will draw the blood for the test: a phlebotomist or chemist, a physician, a qualified technician, or a registered nurse. The Ohio Revised Code addresses this in Section 4511.19(D)(1)(b).
The Ohio Department of Health lays out the procedures for drawing blood in the Ohio Administrative Code, section 3701.53. The lab or hospital that draws the blood must be a specially permitted facility, otherwise the results won’t be admissible in court. The only other way for them to be admissible is if the prosecutor utilizes an expert’s testimony.
When he makes a law enforcement records request, a police officer asks the hospital to release the results of blood that was drawn from the suspect for medical reasons. For example, if there was an accident and a driver was hurt and taken to the hospital, where blood was drawn due to his injuries, if a police officer suspects alcohol was involved, he can ask the hospital to release the driver’s blood test results to him. As with the above paragraph, the results can only be used in court if the hospital is a specially permitted facility that used the standard protocol, or if it’s used in conjunction with the testimony of an expert.
When an officer uses the search warrant option, he asks the judge for a warrant, then serves it on the hospital. The warrant requires the medical facility to release the blood sample itself to law enforcement, which them takes it elsewhere and has it analyzed.
HIPPA (American Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) laws can make it difficult for police officers to obtain the records they request. There are exceptions to these privacy rules that allow hospitals to release information to law enforcement.
- When ordered by a court, either via a search warrant or another order of the court.
- For investigations, inspections, licensure, and audits, when state, federal, or local law requires it.
- If you have threatened to commit a crime, are a crime victim, or have been involved in a crime.
Remember that you can refuse a blood test after an OVI arrest. There are severe legal and civil consequences to this act. Also remember that a failed blood test need not be the end of the world. Your Youngstown OVI lawyer is familiar with OVI law and defense. Sean Logue has defended hundreds of cases and knows how best to fight for you and your specific situation. Call 1-888-PITT-OVI.