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Chemical Testing for DUI in Virginia

When there is no unreasonable refusal to a chemical test there are very stringent rules that must be followed concerning who may take the samples and the process that must be followed. The only people who may take a blood sample are a physician, registered nurse, license practical nurse, phlebotomist, graduate laboratory technician, or a nurse or technician who has been designated by a circuit court. When taking a sample the approved person must use soap and water, an approved type of iodine or a chloride to sterilize the area where the blood will be taken. The blood must be drawn with a new needle or one that has been sterilized by approved techniques. If drawn properly and in accordance with this statute there is no civil liability for the person drawing the blood, except in the case of negligently drawing the blood. However, if the person designated to draw the blood does uses an improper needle, mainly reusing a single use needle or syringe, has committed a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Once the blood is drawn it must be placed in a vial which is approved and provided to the lab by the Department of Forensic Science. The person who has drawn the blood must seal this vial and complete a certified form and attach a separate form to each vial. On this form must contained the name of the accused whose blood was drawn, the name of the person who drew the blood, the date and time the sample was taken and the name of the officer who accompanied the accused. These vials must be placed in an approved container and which must also be sealed. This sealed container is handed over to the accompanying officer who must deliver the container to the Department of Forensic Science. Once this sample is turned over to the Department of Forensic Science the sample will be analyzed for the alcohol content. Once the sample is analyzed the director of the Department must certify the analysis which includes the name of the accused, the date and time the sample was received, the person at the department who accepted the sample, and a statement that the seal on the vial was unbroken and untampered with, that the vial and the container which the vials were contained were both appropriate, and that the certificate from the person who had drawn the blood was attached to the vial. Finally, attached to these other statements there must be the results of the blood analysis containing the alcohol content. This all must be submitted to the clerk of court in the circuit in which the charge is going to be heard, which is more likely than not the circuit which the occurrence took place.

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