The Demise of Urine Testing in DUI Cases

There was a time when a person who was arrested for drunk driving had a choice of a blood, breath or urine test when it came to satisfying their requirement under the implied consent statutes in California, those days are now gone. The only legitimate tests that are available to a DUI suspect nowadays are breath and blood, no urine. However, their is an ability for a person to take a urine test in a DUI context, it is called the “Trombetta Test” and it is available at a person’s own expense after a breath test is submitted.

The theory behind allowing a person to take a urine test following a properly submitted breath sample is that the breath machine does not preserve a sample for re-testing if the integrity of the test gets called into question. A sample of the person’s blood or urine can be reanalyzed though at a later date and the alcoholic content of the fluid and can be determined. A classic example of such a process is when the breath machine is later determined to be faulty either due to some non-compliance with the regulations or some failure on the part of law enforcement to properly administer the test. In these cases, having a biological sample of the suspect’s bodily fluid can ensure that the alcoholic content of his or her blood and be ascertained.

One common question is what happens if the arresting officer fails to properly advise a detainee of his or her statutory right to a urine test after an arrest? The remedy may be suppression of the breath sample.

One Response to The Demise of Urine Testing in DUI Cases

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