Challenging DUI Urine Test Results

If you got arrested for drinking and driving, you likely had to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. Urine tests are not common, but they are still performed on occasion, especially if blood and breath testing equipment are not readily available. Urine tests are a flawed method of determining a suspect’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If you were given a urine test after a DUI arrest, you should immediately call a criminal defense lawyer skilled in challenging DUI urine test results.

It’s possible for a person to have excessive amounts of alcohol in their urine, but little in their bloodstream. Urine testing is not always accurate, especially for measuring BAC. If you were asked to submit to urine testing after a DUI arrest, call Chicago DUI lawyer Michael O’Meara right away at 312-909-0706.

Is Urine Testing Reliable?

Urine testing is best used for drug testing. Indeed, many employers use it to see if job applicants and current employees are using drugs. In terms of testing for alcohol use, however, urine testing is the least reliable of the three tests. That’s because the percentage of alcohol present the urine is only loosely correlated to the amount of alcohol in your blood. And there is no reliable formula that can convert the results of your urine test into a BAC percentage.

The level of alcohol in your urine can be 1.33 times the level of alcohol in your blood. And, in reality, this ratio can vary widely from one person to another. Thus, you could have tested well above .08 percent based on a urine sample, while in reality the amount of alcohol in your blood was considerably under the legal limit.

Ways to Challenge a Urine Test

In defending your DUI case, your lawyer will want to show that your urine test is either inadmissible as evidence, or that it doesn’t show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were intoxicated while driving. A urine test may be challenged in the following ways:

  • The urine sample was not handled properly. Only qualified laboratory personnel should be handling your sample. If the record shows that an unauthorized person handled your sample, your lawyer can ask the judge to remove the urine test result from the case.
  • Procedures were not properly followed. Every state has different procedures for properly collecting evidence. If there is any chance that a procedure was not properly followed, then the test results can be challenged.
  • Someone tampered with the sample. After your sample is collected, it should be immediately taken to the lab to obtain the results. If you noticed someone opening your sample container or placing something inside the container, then it could have been tampered with in order to produce a false positive.
  • You were asked to give multiple urine samples. Due to accuracy issues, you may have to give two urine samples about 20 minutes apart. It is difficult for most people to urinate that much in such a short amount of time. If you were unable to provide a second sample, the urine test may not be valid.
  • The sample was not refrigerated. If the urine sample was not refrigerated after collection, the test results could be skewed. Your lawyer will review the record to ensure that your urine sample was properly refrigerated soon after you provided it. If not, the test result may be suppressed from the case.
  • Two people with the same BAC can have different test results. Urine test results can vary widely depending on when you last drank alcohol, when you last urinated, and how many non-alcoholic drinks you had. Urination frequency is a significant factor because the alcohol in your urine may have been in your bladder for several hours. This is not indicative of the actual amount of alcohol in your blood.

How O’Meara Law Can Help

While urine tests may work well for determining the presence of drugs in someone’s body, they don’t accurately report a person’s BAC If the prosecutor attempts to use a urine test as evidence of your intoxication by alcohol your lawyer can counter with some of the arguments outlined above. Essentially, it will difficult for the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt if they’re relying on a urine test.

If you were asked to provide urine for testing after a DUI arrest, know that the results can be challenged. At O’Meara Law, we will carefully review your case and determine what defense tactics may enable us to reduce or eliminate your prospect of facing criminal penalties.

To find out more about how we can help, call us today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation.