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Urine testing -

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Urine testing

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Urine Testing: The Least Reliable Method of DWI Chemical Testing

If you are in the unenviable position of knowing that you have consumed too much alcohol and are offered the option of taking a urine test, then you should opt for this one over other types of blood alcohol content tests. This is due to the fact that the three most common forms of tests – urine testing, blood testing, and Breathalyzer tests – most DWI experts agree that the urine test is the most inaccurate. Therefore, it is the most likely of the three to be deemed inadmissible in a court of law.

Due to this fact, urine testing has been discontinued in most states, and it will generally be offered only as a last resort when other chemical tests are not immediately available. Urine tests are frequently used for drug testing, even though a drug’s presence cannot always accurately provide reliable info regarding as to whether or not a motorist is actually under the influence at a particular time. The majority of experts also believe that a drug’s concentration in the urine does not provide a reliable correlation to blood alcohol concentration.

Why Urine Testing Has Fallen Out of Favor

               Analyze the numbers. One of the primary reasons why urine testing has been deemed inaccurate is that the percentage of alcohol in the urine is not quite the same as percentage of alcohol found in an individual’s blood stream. Experts generally agree that the alcohol level in the urine is, on average, 1.33 x’s higher than the actual blood alcohol content. To accurately convert the results of a urine test into an equivalent BAC level, the alcohol level in the urine must be divided by 1.33.

However, the resulting number is simply an average, and a motorist who has been accused of a DWI could potentially, at trial, argue that this calculated average does not apply to their particular scenario and results. For example, multiple studies have demonstrated that some individuals have alcohol levels that are only 40% as high in their urine when compared to what is actually in their bloodstream. Alternately, other studies have shown that other individuals have twice the amount of alcohol content in their urine as to what is actually in their blood. It is important to know that urine samples are generally preserved, so it is possible for a defendant to arrange to have their own analysis of the sample conducted.

How the bladder operates. Another reason why urine test has been determined to be inaccurate is the manner which the bladder operates. Since urine is stored within the bladder until the human body is ready to empty itself, the bladder’s content represent a continuously evolving composite of shifting blood alcohol content. In this manner, the contents of a person’s bladder often tell us much less about the individual’s blood alcohol at a specific moment than does a simple blood sample. This could work in favor of, or against, a motorist who has been charged with a DWI.

§  Scenario #1 – Drinking hours prior. Let’s suppose that five hours earlier, a motorist has four beers to drink and has not visited the restroom since consuming the drinks. The results of the urine analysis test could be misleadingly high. In other words, when compared to the motorist’s actual blood alcohol content, then their bladder might have a disproportionate amount of alcohol in it.

§  Scenario #2 – Recently drinking. In an alternate scenario, let’s say that an hour or two prior to being tested , the motorist consumed a gallon of Gatorade and then 20 minutes prior to being pulled over had several shots of Jack Daniels. Because the full amount of alcohol could have yet to reach the bladder, and because the already present Gatorade has a diluting effect, the urine test will produce a misleadingly low result. For this exact reason, police officers will often insist that motorist produce a second urine sample 15-20 minutes after the first one. If the driver cannot produce the second required sample, then the motorist will be required to undergo a more accurate breath or blood test.

It’s the same old problems. Finally, urine samples are analyzed using the same manner as traditional blood samples. The results of these tests are often subject to the same laboratory testing errors.

If you have been charged with a DWI in the state of New Hampshire, you need to have an experienced and skilled NH DWI lawyer fighting on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation regarding your case, contact our law firm today.



Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee a future outcome. Results include cases in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Attorney Dan Hynes is admitted to practice law only in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This website may be considered advertising. Contacting us does not create an attorney/client relationship and the information on this site is not legal advice and may be inaccurate or not applicable to your case. Each case is different.

Mailing Address: Dan Hynes PO BOX 598 Merrimack, NH 03054