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Chemical Testing in Hawaii

After a person is arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, the officer will request the driver take a breath, blood or urine test to determine the BAC. There are strict rules regarding the tests performed. The Department of Health establishes and administers chemical testing for alcohol concentrations or drug content.  The Department of Health also consults with the state director of transportation to come up with the program relating to chemical testing. The Department of Health determines who is qualified to administer the chemical tests, the procedures for specimen selection, collection, analysis and handling and the manner of reporting the results.

There are two types of breath testing that can be done upon an arrest for an OVII. A preliminary breath test (PBT) is done on at the scene prior to arrest. However, this test is not is not admissible evidence and only goes to the probable cause to make an arrest. Evidentiary breath tests are done after the arrest at the police station. The police department uses a breath machine called the Intoxilizer 5000.

Blood testing may also be done. Only a physician, registered nurse, phlebotomist deemed qualified by the direct of a clinical laboratory licensed by the State. A person licensed in a clinical laboratory occupation may withdraw blood for the purpose of determined the BAC or drug content.

An OVII suspect may choose any physician, registered nurse or person licensed in a clinical laboratory occupation to withdraw blood. The suspect may also choose any qualified person to administer a test or tests in addition to any tests administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer.

The testing done must comply with the rules set forth by the Department of Health. The rules must be strictly complied with prior to and during the defendant’s breath test.


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