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What is the Difference Between Whole Blood and Serum Blood?

When it comes to forensics and criminal investigations, sometimes blood samples are collected at the scene of a crime. Blood is also collected in other settings as well. If someone is pulled over by a police officer and suspected of driving under the influence, the officer might require this person submit to a blood alcohol test. This could include taking a blood sample for analysis. This leads many people to wonder what the difference is between whole blood and blood serum. Does this make a difference in the outcome of a case, or does it matter at all when it comes to a DUI case?

What is Whole Blood?

Medically speaking, whole blood is blood taken from the body through a vein. It’s not diluted in any way. It’s simply taken from the body and analyzed for whatever the medical professional is looking for, and it’s used in many forensic matters.

What is Serum Blood?

Serum blood is not whole blood. It’s a portion of your blood that is taken once coagulation occurs. It can be used to test for specific substances in a person’s blood, and it’s often used in forensic matters.

What’s the Difference?

As you can see, there are many differences between these two types of blood despite the fact they are the same blood from the same person. When it comes to forensics, though, there are many things to consider. Serum is often referred to as medical blood while whole blood is referred to as legal blood. It’s not always easy to understand the difference and what it means in a legal case that has to do with your blood alcohol level.

There’s a big difference, and both have their own qualities. You might not care or think it matters much, but the type of blood used to determine your blood alcohol level during a DUI stop can have a significant outcome on the case in which you’re involved. When you enter the hospital or see the doctor for a test, they might test your whole blood. If they wait and test your serum, however, it can greatly impact the case. You want to know what they tested, because your attorney can use that for your defense.

Testing Serum Blood

There are many medical professionals that believe testing serum shows higher concentrations of blood alcohol. This means your level seems higher than it might be in reality if your whole blood was tested. Whether you prefer one or the other is up to you and your attorney. A whole blood sample can show your alcohol level is not a number that exceeds the legal limit, which could put an end to the case before it begins. If your serum was tested, your attorney can argue the results are not trustworthy or conclusive and you can argue that matter. It’s all up to you, and it’s all up to how you choose to handle this situation. In reality, you have no power over which type of blood is tested when you enter the hospital after a DUI to have your blood taken.

Calling an Attorney

If you are arrested for DUI and your blood alcohol tests show your level is above the legal limit, it’s time to call an attorney with experience handling cases of this nature. You want to ensure your case is being handled by the best so you have a chance of keeping your license and facing a much smaller penalty. Before you say anything to anyone, call an attorney. You can do that immediately, and you are not required to speak to anyone until your attorney is present. This is your right, and you are free to enact that right at any time following a stop or arrest if you’re suspected of driving under the influence.

This type of stop is serious, and DUI is not something that goes away. Jail time, fines, and even community service can be potential disciplinary actions taken against you, and each one is more severe than the next. You also face losing your license for a length of time. If you cannot afford to go through this, it’s time to call an attorney so we can control the outcome of your case by analyzing the type of blood sample used.

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