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Can Someone Get A DUI for Using Hand Sanitizer?

Posted on April 29, 2020 in DUI defense

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruptions in almost every sphere of life, including the criminal justice system here in Arizona.  Right now, with the widespread concern of the spread of the Coronavirus, hand sanitizer has been a hot product for people to use when washing their hands is not an option. While it has always been the norm to use hand sanitizer by arresting agency while administrating breathalyzer tests, it seems now more than ever this product is used excessively. So what are the chances hand sanitizer causes someone to be charged and convicted of a DUI?

Can You Use Hand Sanitizer as a Defense During a DUI Arrest?

Firstly, if you have been pulled over for suspicion of driving while impaired and the arresting officer smells alcohol, it is highly unlikely using the hand sanitizer as an excuse will cause you to be let go and not arrested for a DUI. We strongly recommend if you have been arrested for a DUI, to be polite but firmly invoke your right to speak with an attorney. And invoke your right to remain silent so stop talking. You will not explain your way out of the situation. You won’t convince them to let you go. If anything, you will just make the state’s case stronger. An experienced DUI defense attorney has the skills and knowledge to build a strong defense against the state’s case to limit the impacts of a DUI charge, that’s is why it is always in someone’s best interest to contact a competent defense attorney immediately.

Hand Sanitizer and DUI Charges

In saying that, let’s return to how hand sanitizer could possibly cause someone to face DUI charges and may be used as a defense strategy for a DUI case. Ethyl is the main ingredient in most hand sanitizers. It is the alcohol in our drinks.  It is what the crime labs test for when they test for blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  If the hand sanitizer gets into the blood sample that is being tested, it will artificially raise a person’s BAC. The big question would be, how did the hand sanitizer get in the blood sample.

Hand Sanitizer DUI Defense

There are a couple of ways hand sanitizer could get in a blood sample. First could be that hand sanitizer is the phlebotomist who took the blood put it on his hands prior to putting on their gloves and drawing the blood.  This is actually very common in DUI van blood draws and hospital blood draws. The phlebotomist then grabs the gloves out of the box with his hands that have ethyl-based hand sanitizer on them. The phlebotomist is then putting alcohol on the outside of the gloves.  The phlebotomist will then touch the draw site with the gloves to feel for the vein and to palpitate the vein.

The second possible way that could be theorized is when the syringe is removed from a person’s arm it still has suction and can suck up the evaporated alcohol in the air from the hand sanitizer that was used.

What to Do If You Have Been Arrested for A DUI?

DUI charges in Arizona, are serious with life-altering impacts if convicted including mandatory jail time. People who are unfamiliar with law think that all lawyers do all things when in reality, nothing can be further from the truth. DUI charges are frightening and high stakes. DUI cases are complex, with even more nuance and specificity required to be charged.  To defend successfully against DUI charges in Arizona, there is a range of scientific knowledge and know-how that you really need to have. That is why it is crucial to have a DUI defense attorney who is well-versed and experienced in the defense of the alleged impaired driver. Contact Rosenstein Law Group to get our team of knowledgeable and experienced DUI defense attorneys started on your DUI case today. We can be reached 24/7 online or by calling 480-248-7666.

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