Should You Take a Blood Test or a Breath Test?

What’s up? I’m attorney Derek Gray of Graystar Legal. We are a criminal law firm located here in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and this is our FAQ series. So today’s question deals with DWIs. In other states, they are called DUIs, or OWIs, which stands for operating a vehicle while impaired or driving under the influence in North Carolina. They’re called driving while impaired pair charges. Today’s question is, is it better to take a blood test or a breath test after you’ve been arrested for a DWI?

So, let’s first start with North Carolina DWI law. In North Carolina, it is 20-138.1. Getting into the actual question itself, typically, you don’t have the option to choose whether to take a blood or breath test. The officer will request a breath test, and usually, if you refuse, they’ll get a search warrant for your blood and then take your blood. If they have reason to believe that you’re impaired by some other substance and alcohol, a lot of times, they’ll go straight to the blood tests.

But to answer the question succinctly, if you have the option, let’s say hypothetically speaking, I would say the blood test is better. And the reason I say the blood test is better is that it incorporates an additional witness that would have to be present at trial or testify at trial in order to have that blood alcohol concentration be admissible.

For the breath test, the officers a lot of times are also certified chemical analysts. So they are able to get that in through their own testimony. And that is usually the same officer that would have stopped and arrested you. So for purposes of trial and making it more difficult for them to prove their case, incorporating an additional witness that would have to be present and testify would be more advantageous to a lawyer in my position as far as defending you.

So there you go. I’m gonna say the blood test. I hope that answers your question. If you have further questions, feel free to leave comments below or just give us a call. I love to talk about it. I love to help y’all take care.