What does a forensic toxicologist do?

| Jan 22, 2021 | DUI |

If you are just starting your career, you are likely looking forward to a long and productive future. While the consequences from an unexpected arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol may make your future seem bleaker, a competent defense may help you put your life back on track. 

While your defense attorney is likely to evaluate your options and recommend a strategy, he or she may recommend collaborating with an expert witness. This individual’s education, training and experience qualify him or her to render an expert opinion, which may be admissible in court. Forensic toxicologists are common expert witnesses in DUI cases. 

A scientific opinion

Forensic toxicologists, which often have advanced academic degrees, study the effects chemicals have on the body. Consequently, a forensic toxicologist may help to rebut a prosecutor’s assertion that you had a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08% at the time of your arrest. 

If there was chemical contamination of a breath testing device, a forensic toxicologist may also render a scientific opinion about the validity of the test’s results. Likewise, if other chemical compounds in your body may have interfered with a breath test, a forensic toxicologist may have additional theories to help you defend yourself. 

Some additional expense

Following your DUI arrest, you may worry about losing your driving privileges, paying steep fines or even spending some time in jail. If so, you may not have much concern about the cost of your DUI defense. Still, you should realize that you typically must pay for the expertise of a forensic toxicologist. 

Often, toxicologists charge for investigations and report writing. If the forensic toxicologist must testify in court, you may also have to pay for his or her time. Still, if the testimony is valuable, the added expense may be acceptable to you.