Is it Legal to Take a DUI Blood Test After 2 Hours?

Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2024 at 9:00 am    

Is it Legal to Take a DUI Blood Test After 2 Hours

There is a lot of confusion surrounding when and how law enforcement can take blood samples following a DUI arrest. Some people ask whether it is legal to take a DUI blood test two hours after an arrest. Yes, it is legal to collect blood hours after an arrest. However, the legal value of that blood evidence may be compromised.

At Bruno Law Offices, we understand that following a DUI arrest, you have questions. Our criminal defense team wants to dispel some common myths and help you understand your rights after an Illinois DUI arrest. 

Illinois DUI Laws

Illinois law defines driving under the influence as operating a vehicle under specific conditions, including:

  • With a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher
  • While under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating compounds such as drugs
  • With any amount of a controlled substance in a person’s blood or urine
  • With a THC concentration of five nanograms or more in the blood or ten nanograms or more in another bodily substance

Law enforcement typically uses a breathalyzer test to determine BAC at the scene of DUI arrest. Although it is the most common test used to determine BAC, these tests are not as reliable for determining BAC. Nor can a breathalyzer test detect the presence of legal or illegal drugs that may also be contributing to intoxication.

Blood tests are more accurate and can detect other substances and drugs in a person’s body. However, it can take time to transport an individual arrested for DUI to a hospital or police department with the equipment and staff to draw and handle blood samples.

Illinois Implied Consent Law

Illinois is one of many states that have implied consent laws. Under implied consent, all motorists must submit to breath, blood, or urine testing if law enforcement has probable cause to believe an individual was operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Refusing to take a chemical test can result in penalties such as a driver’s license suspension.

In addition to penalties for refusing a chemical test, there may be instances where law enforcement can arrange a non-consensual blood draw. Suppose authorities have probable cause, or an accident caused the death or personal injury of another. In that case, law enforcement can request a search warrant and then obtain a non-consensual blood draw to determine BAC and whether there are other drugs present in a person’s system.  

Is It Legal to Take a DUI Blood Test After Two Hours?

First, it is crucial to note that in Illinois, you can be charged with DUI for having a THC concentration of five nanograms or more in the blood or ten nanograms or more in another bodily substance. Breathalyzer tests cannot detect marijuana or THC as they can alcohol, so a blood test is often needed to determine whether THC is present. Illinois law stipulates that for a DUI, an individual must have consumed THC and then been driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within two hours of consuming the substance. Many people are confused by this statute and assume that if a blood test gets conducted after the two-hour window expires, it invalidates test results or gives them a pass. It doesn’t.

Understand that it can take time to process and transport an individual to a facility able to draw and handle DUI blood tests properly. Even if a blood test is administered hours after an arrest, there is a scientific procedure called retrograde extrapolation that can help experts calculate an approximate BAC within two hours of a DUI arrest or driving incident, depending on when a sample is collected.

A skilled defense attorney can utilize specific strategies to dispute breath and blood test results. However, criminal defense tactics depend on the unique circumstances of the situation and the manner and method of sample collection.

Contact an Illinois DUI Criminal Defense Attorney Now

Has law enforcement arrested you for DUI? Do not wait to get legal counsel on your side. A DUI conviction can dramatically change your life. Contact an experienced Illinois DUI defense attorney from Bruno Law Offices immediately, and let our knowledgeable defense lawyers fight for you.

Call our Illinois office today at (217) 328-6000 and request a confidential case review, or contact us online. You have legal rights. Let us protect them and build a solid case that gives you the best possibility of obtaining a favorable outcome. Don’t try to handle a DUI on your own. Call us now.