DUI Pending Blood Results
Not every DUI investigation results in an immediate arrest. When a person is involved in a car crash and taken to the hospital, it becomes inconvenient for the officer to make an arrest immediately.
Instead, the officer might wait for the driver to be released from the hospital, obtain their hospital records or the results from a legal blood draw, and confirm their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was above .08.
In those cases, the investigating officer might forward his findings to a prosecutor who can give notice of issuing a subpoena for the medical records while giving the patient fifteen days to object. Once the prosecutor obtains those records, the prosecutor might “direct file” the DUI charge triggering a court date.
The officer might also send the blood test results to a supervisor at the DHSMV who triggers the “notice of suspension.” After the driver receives that notice, they have ten days to file a demand for a formal review hearing to contest the suspension.
If you went to the hospital after being involved in a motor vehicle crash and you believe a DUI investigation is underway, then immediately seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Attorney for DUI Being BAC Results in Florida
After a motor vehicle crash, an investigation officer might go to the hospital to ask you questions. The officer might have requested that you submit to a legal blood draw. The officer might also take steps to obtain your medical records.
To obtain your medical records through a subpoena, the State Attorney’s Office has to provide you with notice and an opportunity to object.
Contact us to determine why you should object to the State Attorney’s Office subpoena for hospital records.
The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm understand that these cases are complicated. For more than 20 years, attorney Leslie Sammis has been fighting DUI cases, including cases pending the results of a blood test in Florida.
Don’t just wait for the results to come back. Instead, take a proactive approach to fight the DUI from the earliest stages.
Forms Used in a DUI Pending BAC Results Case in Florida
When there is no arrest at the scene, and the charges are pending the results of a blood test, the arresting officer will prepare the following documents:
- DUI or Standard Traffic Citation – BASED ON BAC RESULTS
- Driver License – If BAC results are .08 and available
- Copy of Original Arrest Affidavit – MUST BE SIGNED
- Certificate of Blood Withdrawal Form – FDLE #11
- Blood Collection Form
- Field Sobriety Evaluation Form
- Oath Form
How long does it take to get the blood work results in a DUI investigation?
The results are returned within an hour if the hospital takes blood as part of the medical treatment.
If the officer takes blood for legal purposes and sends it off to the crime lab, it might take several months for the results to come back showing the presence of alcohol or controlled substances.
How long can a DUI investigation stay pending?
How long the DUI investigation can remain pending depends on the statute of limitations. The prosecutor will first determine the statute of limitations to see how much time they have to file charges.
Generally, the investigation should be pending for no more than six (6) months. But we have seen cases filed right before the one-year or two-year statute of limitations deadline runs.
Which deadline applies in your case? The statute of limitations for a first DUI without any aggravating factors is one year.
If the prosecutor can prove that the DUI caused or contributed to property damage or non-serious injury, the statute of limitations is two years. For a felony DUI charge, the statute of limitations is longer.
As a practical matter, we have never seen a DUI case filed after two years from the date of the incident.
The passage of time generally makes the case more difficult to prosecute because memories fade, and evidence is lost over time.
State Privacy Laws in Florida under Section 316.1932(1)(f)2.b.
Florida’s State Privacy Laws apply to Fla. Stat. § 316.1932(1)(f)2.b. which provides:
“Notwithstanding any provision of law pertaining to the confidentiality of hospital records or other medical records, if a health care provider, who is providing medical care in a health care facility to a person injured in a motor vehicle crash, becomes aware, as a result of any blood test performed in the course of that medical treatment, that the person’s blood‐alcohol level meets or exceeds the blood‐alcohol level specified in s. 316.193(1)(b), the health care provider may notify any law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency…
Any such notice must be given within a reasonable time after the health care provider receives the test result. Any such notice shall be used only for the purpose of providing the law enforcement officer with reasonable cause to request the withdrawal of a blood sample pursuant to this section.”
This exception allows medical personnel, at their option, to disclose information to a law enforcement officer in Florida. But this statute does NOT allow a law enforcement officer in Florida to ask medical personnel for information regarding the defendant’s care, treatment, or testing.
If a law enforcement officer in Florida asks if a suspect’s blood has been tested or will be tested, the prosecutor will likely forever lose those results of the appropriate motion is filed.
If a law enforcement officer in Florida asks if a suspect’s blood has been tested or the blood testing results, the prosecutor will likely lose those results forever if the appropriate motion is filed.
This exception allows a law enforcement officer in Florida to establish probable cause to request a legal blood draw pursuant to Florida’s Implied Consent Statute.
The exception does not allow a Florida law enforcement officer to use the medical blood information for any other purpose.
For example, the medical blood results may not be used as probable cause for an arrest. Likewise, this exception may not be used to obtain medical records via a subpoena or a warrant.
Suppose the medical blood results are put into the DUI Report, affidavits, or any other paperwork a prosecutor will rely on to make a filing decision or a subpoena request. The entire case might be dismissed if the criminal defense attorney files an appropriate motion.
This article was last updated on Friday, May 12, 2023.