In Oklahoma and elsewhere, law enforcement personnel rely on three types of tests to measure blood alcohol content. In the interests of protecting your rights throughout the entire encounter with police officers during a traffic stop, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the basic details of blood alcohol testing.
Some Oklahoma drivers may be tested for DUI using expired blood test kits. One attorney says this could lead to innocent people being convicted of drunk driving.
Oklahoma residents who are pulled over and suspected of being under the influence of alcohol may be required to give a breath sample. Police may use a device called an Intoxilyzer to obtain and analyze this sample. It will detect the level of ethanol in a person's breath using a process called infrared spectroscopy, which analyzes the molecules based on how they interact with light.
In Oklahoma, only certain people are allowed to withdraw blood at the request of a law enforcement official to determine what may be in an individual's blood. A few of these groups include medical doctors, physician assistants and nurses licensed by the State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision. Others qualified to make such a blood draw include those authorized by the Board of Tests for Alcohol and Drug Influence.
Oklahoma is an implied consent state, and motorists are required by law to consent to sobriety tests when instructed to do so by a law enforcement officer. However, there are limits to when an officer may require drivers to submit to chemical sobriety tests, such as a breath test.
The right to refuse a blood test may soon be tougher to take advantage of if the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has their way. The OHP has begun to institute "no refusal" operations on high travel weekends and holidays. Some say that the Highway Patrol has overstepped their legal authority.