Title 17 – § 1219.1 Blood Collection and Retention

Title 17 – § 1219.1  Blood Collection and Retention

(a)  Blood samples shall be collected by venipuncture from living individuals as soon as feasible after an alleged offense and only by persons authorized by Section 13354 of the Vehicle Code.

(b)  Sufficient blood shall be collected to permit duplicate determinations.

(c)  Alcohol or other volatile organic disinfectant shall not be used to clean the skin where a specimen is to be collected. Aqueous benzalkonium chloride (zephiran), aqueous merthiolate or other suitable aqueous disinfectant shall be used.

(d)  Blood samples shall be collected using sterile, dry hypodermic needles and syringes, or using clean, dry vacuum type containers with sterile needles. Reusable equipment,if used, shall not be cleaned or kept in alcohol or other volatile organic solvent.

(e)  The blood sample shall be deposited into a clean, dry container which is closed with an inert stopper.

(1)  Alcohol or other volatile organic solvent shall not be used to clean the container.

(2)  The blood shall be mixed with an anticoagulant and a preservative.

(f)  When blood samples for forensic alcohol analysis are collected post-mortem, all practical precautions to insure an uncontaminated sample shall be employed, such as:

(1)  Samples shall be obtained prior to the start of any embalming procedure. Blood samples shall not be collected from the circulatory system effluent during arterial injection of embalming fluid. Coroner’s samples do not need a preservative added if stored under refrigeration.

(2)  Care shall be taken to avoid contamination by alcohol from the gastrointestinal tract directly or by diffusion therefrom. The sample shall be taken from a major vein or the heart.

(g)  In order to allow for analysis by the defendant, the remaining portion of the sample shall be retained for one year after the date of collection.

(1)  In coroner’s cases, blood samples shall be retained for at least 90 days after date of collection.

(2)  Whenever a sample is requested by the defendant for analysis and a sufficient sample remains, the forensic alcohol laboratory or law enforcement agency in possession of the original sample shall continue such possession, but shall provide the defendant with a portion of the remaining sample in a clean container together with a copy or transcript of the identifying information carried on the original sample container.


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