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Chemical Tests in Georgia

State administered chemical testing is typically administered as a breath test or a blood test. Urine samples are uncommon because there is no regulation or qualification for analysis in Georgia. The state is required produce a chemist to prove that the testing equipment is operating properly for blood and urine testing. Defense counsel should subpoena all operating records, repair records, maintenance records and log sheets for the particular breath test device used. Also, subpoena the area supervisor or supervisors who serviced the machine in order to form a proper challenge to a state administered test. Expert witnesses are helpful if the accuracy of any test is to be challenged.

A. Urine Sample

When challenging a urine sample, it is important to draw attention to the fact that unlike blood and breath testing, no specific urine-testing device has been approved. Also, urine tests are more inaccurate than blood or breath tests and the samples have potential for rapid deterioration if it is not maintained at certain temperatures.

B. Breath Sample

Two breath samples must be taken during a state-administered breath test. An officer cannot administer more than two sequential series of a total of two adequate breath samples. When challenging a breath test result, it is important to consider whether or not the breath test operator was properly certified, whether or not the testing officer was present in court, whether or not the strip is being properly identified as evidence, and whether or not the testing device was working properly.

C. Blood Sample

There are several important issues that must be considered in the event of a state-administered blood test. The state must be able to prove a chain of custody of the blood, or, in other words, prove that the blood belongs to the defendant. In challenging a blood test, defense should considered whether or not the person who drew the blood was properly qualified to do so, whether or not the blood underwent a proper analysis, whether or not the machine used to analyze the blood was working properly, and whether or not the information was made available in a timely manner.

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